Viewpoint: What can the world's richest country learn from the NHS?

I'm writing this from Doha, Qatar. This is, per capita, the richest country on the planet.

Therefore you might expect its healthcare system to be perfect. In reality, it's a healthcare system which is struggling to work out what to do, how to cope with a diabetes prevalence of 24%, in a country with an average age of 32 and a population in which residents are outnumbered by foreign workers.

One of the major drawbacks is the absence of what the Americans call a medical 'home'.

First stop is always the hospital

Speaking to the taxi driver on the way from the airport, the answer to any question relating to illness was 'go to the hospital'. Proactive personal care is missing and nobody thinks about problem avoidance until it's too late.

In hospitals it's not uncommon to have patients living in hospital beds having dialysis three times a week because they are too afraid to try and cope with home care.

Do you know what Doha needs? The answer is a list-based primary care system that can act as the patient's advocate and champion in a complex system.

We've got that in the NHS and, do you know what? It's priceless.

  • Dr Chris Mimnagh is a GP and co-director of clincial strategy at Liverpool Health Partners.

Photo: UNP

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

First-dose COVID-19 vaccine supply for GP sites to stop completely for a fortnight

First-dose COVID-19 vaccine supply for GP sites to stop completely for a fortnight

Supplies of COVID-19 vaccine for first-dose vaccinations at GP-led vaccination sites...

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

UK COVID-19 vaccination programme tracker

GPs across the UK are playing a leading role in the largest-ever NHS vaccination...

More than 70% of COVID-19 jabs this month have been second doses

More than 70% of COVID-19 jabs this month have been second doses

More than seven in 10 COVID-19 jabs administered UK-wide since the start of April...

Accountant's theft of more than £60,000 from GP practices uncovered in pandemic

Accountant's theft of more than £60,000 from GP practices uncovered in pandemic

An accountant has been handed a suspended jail term after stealing more than £60,000...

GMC to contact thousands of GPs due to revalidate from August

GMC to contact thousands of GPs due to revalidate from August

The GMC is writing to thousands of doctors due to revalidate from August to set out...

NHS England spells out next steps as GPs told to cancel AZ jabs booked for under-30s

NHS England spells out next steps as GPs told to cancel AZ jabs booked for under-30s

GP-led vaccination sites should offer under-30s due to receive a first dose of AstraZeneca...