Must the cost of healthcare go on rising inexorably?
21 November 2013
The cost of health service is going to rise a great deal in coming years.This is due to the ageing of the population and to the cost of medical treatments at the end of people’s lives. Rising incomes in society also lead to higher expectations of health services and higher pay costs within the health service. Advances in medical technology make better treatments available, but these treatments are often costlier than the (less effective) treatments they replace.
POLICY CHOICES MAKE A DIFFERENCE
But there are choices that can be made. For example, on certain assumptions, a McKinsey study suggested that the cost of the health service in Ireland in 2040 could range between 10% of GDP and 18%, depending on policy choices. In the UK the range is between 11% and 14% of its GDP, and the range in the US is between 24% and 26%.
SO DO OUR OWN DECISIONS ON USING THE SERVICE
What can be done to contain costs? I saw a report of a British NHS report on Accident and Emergency visits which suggested:
+ one million of the 5.2 million annual visits to A and E were avoidable
+40% of patients who visit A and E are discharged needing no treatment at all
+ 50% of Ambulance call outs could be managed at the scene without going to hospital
+ 20% of GP consultations could be dealt with by self care or a visit to a pharmacy
These statistics suggest that there is plenty of room to encourage people to learn more about looking after their own health. The challenge is to devise policies that incentivise this in a responsible way.
Thinking Talks Ep.9 – ‘The Spectre of a new Banking Crisis’ with MEP Luděk Niedermayer
Multimedia - Thinking Talks
31 Mar 2023
The Windsor Framework Shows that Germany is Key to a British Recovery
03 Mar 2023
EU-Central Asia: An Underdeveloped Relationship
15 Dec 2022
The Digital Markets Act with Andreas Schwab, MEP
Brussels Bytes - Multimedia
08 Dec 2022
Easy Money has Warped the Economics of Power
28 Sep 2022
After the Easy Money Comes the Hard Political Reality
12 Jul 2022
Stablecoins are Crypto’s Feet of Clay
09 Jun 2022
Reconquering the West
24 May 2022
Regulating the Digital Future: Can Europe lead the Crypto and Digital Currencies Revolution?
Live-streams - Multimedia
10 May 2022
The Future of the Russian Economy – Echoes of 1918?
15 Mar 2022