5 thoughts on “Why lower healthcare spending does not mean greater efficiency”

  1. Posted 11/07/2014 at 15:43 | Permalink

    do these different levels of spending account properly for things such as the land cost of providing health care which may not be properly accounted for in state systems (or, for that matter, in some private systems, depending on property tenures and/or how accounting is done)?

  2. Posted 11/07/2014 at 16:40 | Permalink

    There is no reference in this article to health outcomes. If the UK spends less and achieves comparable outcomes, then, yes, it is more efficient regardless of how it is paid for.

  3. Posted 14/07/2014 at 07:34 | Permalink

    The Commonwealth Fund did not rate the NHS as the best in the world. Partly because it only compared 11 countries and partly because it contained almost no objective measures. Where it ranked the NHS near-bottom was on keeping people healthy and alive – which I would have thought was rather important. The OECD study (which was far more rigorous) rated the NHS as one of the least cost-efficient systems.

  4. Posted 16/07/2014 at 10:25 | Permalink

    @Philip, I’d say land costs only play a role for newly opened facilities, as most NHS facilities are part of its patrimony and already fully paid-off. Probably more important for independent sector centres, though.
    @Adam, but it does matter how it is paid for, because private and public spending have different objectives. The person who pays extra for a single bedroom with perks knows exactly that this will not improve clinical outcomes. That is not what they are trying to achieve. They want more comfort, and they are prepared to pay
    for it. Yet in the statistics, you will see higher spending without better outcomes.
    @HJ, to be fair to the Commonwealth Fund, they never said ‘best system in the world’. That is what the media coverage added later. What OECD study do you have in mind? Is that the one by Joumard et al (2010)?

  5. Posted 16/07/2014 at 10:36 | Permalink

    Kris – Here is a link to to the OECD findings:
    http://www.oecd.org/eco/healthcaresystemsefficiencyandpolicysettings.htm

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