During the first part of 2011, one of the focus areas of The Finnish Institute in London has been the healthcare sector. One of the most important and costly public services, the healthcare sector is under pressures to descrease its costs, which might lead to significant changes in the system.
Our latest contribution to the discussion is "Franchising Healthcare? Presenting past NHS reforms and discussing the proposed changes in the White Paper Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS", a paper published in our new Working Papers series.
The National Healthcare Service (NHS) is often called the pride of Britain. The paper both presents the past reforms and discusses the upcoming reform drafted by the Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in the White Paper "Equity and Excellence: Liberating the NHS".
The planned reform aims to strengthen the use of the purchaser-provider model within the NHS and to create a genuine market for both public and privately run organisations to compete for healthcare provision. The intention is to extend the freedom of choise for the healthcare consumers, to increase the power of general practitioners to purchase services for their customers and to cut down bureaucracy costs.
Fighting the escalating national healthcare expenses by cutting administrative costs of the NHS is nothing new, as it has been the main goal of previous reforms. However, the latest reform is a clear step forward in "franchising out" healthcare services, as presented in the paper.