The future of healthcare

Which country in the world has the best healthcare? Is the NHS fit for purpose? What are the alternatives? How are our healthcare systems going to change in the future? Can the free market provide effective, universal healthcare?

Critics of market mechanisms in healthcare argue that the area is just too complex to be left to the market, that the preconditions for a functioning market – rational, well-informed consumers – are not in place, and that moving away from state provision would entail a loss of democratic accountability. Do they have a point?

At the IEA’s THINK conference, these and other questions were addressed by the IEA’s Head of Health and Welfare Dr Kristian Niemietz. Kristian is the author of the IEA’s ‘NHS Trilogy’:

Head of Political Economy

Dr Kristian Niemietz is the IEA's Editorial Director, and Head of Political Economy. Kristian studied Economics at the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin and the Universidad de Salamanca, graduating in 2007 as Diplom-Volkswirt (≈MSc in Economics). During his studies, he interned at the Central Bank of Bolivia (2004), the National Statistics Office of Paraguay (2005), and at the IEA (2006). He also studied Political Economy at King's College London, graduating in 2013 with a PhD. Kristian previously worked as a Research Fellow at the Berlin-based Institute for Free Enterprise (IUF), and taught Economics at King's College London. He is the author of the books "Socialism: The Failed Idea That Never Dies" (2019), "Universal Healthcare Without The NHS" (2016), "Redefining The Poverty Debate" (2012) and "A New Understanding of Poverty" (2011).

1 thought on “The future of healthcare”

  1. Posted 26/08/2015 at 20:56 | Permalink

    Many thanks for this excellent summary that calmly dismisses many of the myths regarding what happens in (the non US) countries that do not have The NHS! The National Pub Service example is helpful – almost all healthcare workers despair at politicisation of healthcare, yet this is the only possible outcome in a wholly publicly funded system.

    At 16:50 mins – UK GPs suffer from the problem of being penalised for attracting the most difficult patients. Those that offer a better service attract patients most incentivised to choose a more responsive practice, yet suffer a financial penalty as those patients attend the practice far more often, or require home visits or nursing home ward rounds.

    I plotted our GP appointment rate against the Risk Profile (Johns Hopkins ACG tool) score for our patients and the results were predictable yet dramatic.

    Giving individual patients an individual Risk score, and tying primary care funding to the individual patients registered, would lead to a dramatic change in the way practices compete for different types of patients.

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