UK must not follow US model of healthcare, RCGP warns

The UK must not follow the US model of healthcare as it would risk widening health inequalities, increasing costs and fragmenting care, the RCGP chairwoman has warned.

RCGP chairwoman Dr Clare Gerada said her recent study trip to the USA to look at how the ‘biggest market in the world affects the deliver of healthcare’ has made her 'nervous' about the direction of the NHS reforms to increase competition in the NHS. 

She said it also bolstered her view that the NHS is the ‘most remarkable system of healthcare’.

She said: ‘Where as in the past I thought some aspects were quite reasonable, I came away with the view that actually it is not a system at all.

‘It’s a series of providers that aren’t linked to any shape or form, with resources not necessarily going into patient contacts and instead spent on administering this bureaucratic system.’

She warned that moving to a US-style system would lead to a fragmented and more costly system, where accountants, lawyers and actuaries are ‘as common as hospital managers and GPs’.

She said the US system also creates huge health inequalities, where the ‘rich have choice’ but 70 million people have no access to healthcare or are uninsured.

She said: ‘I am convinced the NHS should be improved, but we should always strike to improve what matters cost: continuity of care, co-ordination of services and quality.

‘But if people think that the market will deliver that, I urge them to see what I saw, which is that the market fails.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

What medico-legal challenges will GPs face in 2019?

What medico-legal challenges will GPs face in 2019?

The MDU's head of advisory services, Dr Caroline Fryar, predicts which medico-legal...

GP practices providing online consultations doubled in 12 months, survey suggests

GP practices providing online consultations doubled in 12 months, survey suggests

The proportion of GP practices in England providing online consultations has almost...

Dr Nikita Kanani: Why peer support is the key to building a stronger general practice

Dr Nikita Kanani: Why peer support is the key to building a stronger general practice

NHS England's acting director of primary care Dr Nikita Kanani says connecting with...

Next-day GP appointments three times as likely to be missed as same-day bookings

Next-day GP appointments three times as likely to be missed as same-day bookings

Patients are nearly three times as likely to miss appointments booked with GP practices...

Outsourcing GP services overseas could be 'legal minefield', experts warn

Outsourcing GP services overseas could be 'legal minefield', experts warn

Using digital technology to outsource GP consultations overseas could leave the NHS...

RCGP sets out advice for GPs on prescribing cannabis

RCGP sets out advice for GPs on prescribing cannabis

GPs should warn patients hoping to access cannabis-based medicines that the process...