Primary Medical Care in the United Kingdom
ABSTRACT Since 1948 health care in the United Kingdom (UK) has been centrally funded through the National Health Service (NHS). The NHS provides both primary and specialist health care which is largely free at the point of delivery. Family practitioners are responsible for registered populations of patients and typically work in groups of 4-6 self-employed physicians. They hire nurses and a range of other ancillary staff, and act as gatekeepers to specialist care. Recent reforms include a wide range of national quality improvement initiatives and a pay for performance scheme that accounts for around 25% of family practitioners' income. These reforms have been associated with some major improvements in quality, including improved chronic disease management and reduced waiting times for specialist care. The four countries of the UK differ in some important aspects of health care organization: proposed reforms in England would move towards a more market-driven system, with family practitioners acting as payers for specialist care and controlling 70% of the NHS budget. The other countries (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) focus more on trying to create area-based integrated systems of care.
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ABSTRACT: The purpose of this paper is to review the current research on catchment areas of private general practices in different developed countries because healthcare reform, including primary health care, has featured prominently as an important political issue in a number of developed countries. The debates around health reform have had a significant health geographic focus. Conceptually, GP catchments describe the distribution, composition and profile of patients who access a general practitioner or a general practice (i.e. a site or facility comprising one or more general practitioners). Therefore, GP catchments provide important information into the geographic variation of access rates, utilisation of services and health outcomes by all of the population or different population groups in a defined area or aggregated area. This review highlights a wide range of diversity in the literature as to how GP catchments can be described, the indicators and measures used to frame the scale of catchments. Patient access to general practice health care services should be considered from a range of locational concepts, and not necessarily constrained by their place of residence. An analysis of catchment patterns of general practitioners should be considered as dynamic and multi-perspective. Geographic information systems provide opportunities to contribute valuable methodologies to study these relationships. However, researchers acknowledge that a conceptual framework for the analysis of GP catchments requires access to real world data. Recent studies have shown promising developments in the use of real world data, especially from studies in the UK. Understanding the catchment profiles of individual GP surgeries is important if governments are serious about patient choice being a key part of proposed primary health reforms. Future health planning should incorporate models of GP catchments as planning tools, at the micro level as well as the macro level, to assist policies on the allocation of resources so that opportunities for good health outcomes for all groups within society, especially those who have been systematically denied equitable access, are maximised.International Journal of Health Geographics 08/2014; 13(1):32. DOI:10.1186/1476-072X-13-32 · 2.62 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The objectives of this study were to describe and compare chlamydia testing provided by general practitioners (GPs) in four selected European countries with well-developed primary health care systems and high reported chlamydia rates; we aimed to compare contrasting countries where chlamydia testing is provided by GPs (England, Sweden) with countries where primary care chlamydia testing is absent or very limited (France, Estonia).BMC Public Health 11/2014; 14(1):1147. DOI:10.1186/1471-2458-14-1147 · 2.32 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: US healthcare expenditure per capita far exceeds that of any other nation in the world. Indeed, over the last 15 years, the USA has distantly surpassed most countries in the developed world in total healthcare expenditures per capita with the USA now spending 17.4% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare ($7960 per capita), compared with only 8.5% of GDP in Japan ($2878 per capita), a distant second. Consequently, by current projections, the US healthcare bill will have ballooned from $2.5 trillion in 2009 to over $4.6 trillion by 2020. Such spending growth rates are unsustainable and the system would soon go broke if not corrected. The drivers of these spending growth rates in US healthcare are several and varied. Indeed, in September 2012, the Institute of Medicine reported that US healthcare squandered $750 billion in 2009 through unneeded care, Byzantine paperwork, fraud and other wasteful activities. Recently, the question was raised as to whether we have too much coronary angioplasty in the USA. In this analysis, we examine these and other various related aspects of US healthcare, make comparisons with other national healthcare delivery systems, and suggest several reengineering modalities to help fix these compellingly glaring glitches and maladies of US healthcare.International Journal of Clinical Practice 09/2014; 68(9). DOI:10.1111/ijcp.12446 · 2.54 Impact Factor