While Dr. Don Berwick, Obama's recess appointee to head CMS, speaks of Britain's NHS in glowing if not poetic and outlandishly laudatory terms,Britain's Prime Minister who has actually studied a report about NHS failings presents a different portrait . See here for the white paper on the NHS.
Here is one except from that report:
... the NHS has achieved relatively poor outcomes in some areas. For example, rates of mortality amenable to healthcare, rates of mortality from some respiratory diseases and some cancers, and some measures of stroke have been amongst the worst in the developed world.
"Worst in the developed world" Berwick began his remarks celebrating the 60th anniversary of the NHS with this:
"I am romantic about the NHS; I love it. All I need to do to rediscover the romance is to look at health care in my own country."
His expressed infatuation for the single payer,centrally planned health system of Great Britain is obvious.What is less obvious is how he (or anyone) could reconcile those views with his self admitted radical views of patients primacy.
Dr.RW takes on this daunting task in his recent blog posting (see here) and using in part material from a 2007 IHI publication (see here) he provides insight into Berwick's thinking about reconciling conflicting aims.
Everyone ,physicians,patients,anyone who might become a patient should read about the "goals" that Berwick's organization advocates for a health care system.Then consider on what planet or in what alternative reality those aims could be actually accomplished by governmental central planning.It makes Will Roger's quote " Boil the oceans" ( to get rid of German U-boats ) seem practical.
Dr RW says this about their formulation:
'Grandiose, nebulous and intrusive are adjectives that come to mind." I think he is too kind.