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May 05, 2009

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Kay Tie

"I guess the other side of the coin KT is that 'free at the point of care' access is sometime perceived by certain individuals as 'free' = worthless"

That's right. But charging £10 doesn't come close to the real costs of seeing the doc. Putting a price of £10 on it makes certain people perceive it as nearly free = nearly worthless.

greg

I guess the other side of the coin KT is that 'free at the point of care' access is sometime perceived by certain individuals as 'free' = worthless, leading to either frivolous complaints jamming up the appointment book or, worse, missed appointments or cancellations which are a massive waste of resources.

I think you're right, it's a form of rationing/deterrent to making appointments, but I don't think there's any one perfect system to access primary health care.

Kay Tie

"Why did you have to pay £10 to see a doctor?...because you are a foreigner or rich? Do the poor and the chronically sick pay a tenner?"

No, it wasn't because I was an immigrant. And I was poor at the time. Everyone paid (although I think the truly destitute must have escaped charges).

Have a look at:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmhealth/815/81513.htm

I hate the idea of these user charges. They are a deterrent to seeking medical advice, raise little money in the overall scheme of things and are divisive.

Of course, Sweden has many many many many things that are better than here. You can't assess the whole country from these individual facts. To listen to Polly Toynbee the country is nirvana.

Paul Flynn

What we saw as Select Committee Jon were two schools selected by the British Embassy as typical of the 'privately run ones' and the rest.

The differences were not striking. They were both good schools who passionately defended their own systems. As I recall MPs of all parties onthe committee were of the same view that there was no great lesson to learn from the Swedish experience.

Paul Flynn

The other side of Swedish Health Service, KayTie is the thoroughness of their knowledge of their procedures. In a debate about the outcome of failing hip protheses some years ago, there was no information from the UK but full information from Sweden. They identified protheses and cement used in hip operations that fail while we had no evidence on which to improve use.

Why did you have to pay £10 to see a doctor?...because you are a foreigner or rich? Do the poor and the chronically sick pay a tenner?

Jon Worth

You're a bit wide of the mark with this Paul: "They are all neighbourhood schools and have no choice of pupils" - yes, that's true, but the schools run by private firms tend to only open in smarter areas. So the schools don't have a choice of pupils, but do have a choice of areas to operate in - not too different.

I agree with your overall point though - British politicians always seem to be intent on learning the wrong lessons from Sweden.

Kay Tie

"All Scandinavian schools are impressive as are all their social services."

When I was living in Sweden I had to pay £10 to see my GP. Impressive?

I think you should spend a bit more time seeing the real Sweden: avoid their Potemkin tours and avoid taking Polly Toynbee seriously.

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