Michael Perelman Is Very Clever!
links for 2009-08-20

Squeeze Health Supplier Costs Down, Sport!

John Hempton reports on the Australian health system:

Health Care Reform and single payer – an Australian perspective: I think the Australian system is superior to anything in Canada or the USA. I am less familiar with the European models. The Australian system is better thought through and will work better than anything Obama is proposing.... The way I think about it is that the US has a fundamentally broken market system. We know it is fundamentally broken because it costs a lot and produces fairly poor outcomes in aggregate.... Health coverage is one of the major issues for middle America and many are unsatisfied.  By contrast political and general population satisfaction with the Australian system is high and has by-and-large been rising.

Australia has a system whereby primary medical care (general practice doctors), much specialist health care (for example a cardiologist) and almost all important pharmaceuticals are covered by the government but with a copayment by patient. Most the copayments are large enough to be annoying (the service is not free) but do not cover anything like the costs.... There are also government run public hospitals... a public emergency room which rations via triage. [Turn up with a sprained ankle and you might wait twelve hours, turn up with chest pains and the waters part for you.]

After admission to the public hospital [either through a consulting specialist or through the emergency room] you will get a shared ward and no doctor of your own choice – but a very high standard of care by global standards. Non-urgent procedures are queue rationed....

You can be admitted to a private hospital in the same way as the public hospital. The admission is either from a consulting specialist or through the emergency room at the public hospital.  At a private hospital you have your choice of doctor, often a private room, sometimes slightly better food and distinctly less pressure to leave until you are recuperated. Most importantly, private hospitals are not highly queue rationed.  When my wife needed knee surgery after a skiing accident the wait was two weeks at a public hospital or alternatively the next day the doctor was in surgery at the private hospital.  That was an easy choice.

To go to a private hospital you will either need to pay for it or have private health insurance...