Monday, January 23, 2006

NHS Told: Put Money Before Medicine

I am wary of writing about health care systems in countries other than the US, since my failure to understand the intricacies of their contexts may lead to errors.
So I quoted the headline above from a story in the (UK) Guardian, and here are some excerpts:
Patricia Hewitt, the health secretary, will call for the end of the "handout culture" in the NHS this week and demand that financial management be put ahead of clinical objectives.
On Thursday, Ms Hewitt will issue the first rulebook for NHS managers in an attempt to eliminate the financial deficits threatening to destabilise reform plans for hospitals and primary care services. She is expected to say that financial management must have a higher priority than clinical objectives during the coming year, a shift expected to enrage medical staff.

It sounds like the medical staff will have reason to be enraged. I would say putting money before medicine is a good way to encapsulate the external threats to physicians' core values that certainly are not just an American problem.

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