As 2018 dawns, I want to thank everyone for reading my blog over the last year. I’ve really enjoyed all the discussion, and am grateful for the many supportive messages I’ve received.
We still have so much work to do in healthcare! At the beginning of 2017, I wrote a blog post about my New Year’s Wish List for healthcare. It was exactly the same as my Wish List two years before that! If I’m honest, I don’t think we’ve made much progress in 2017 either—in any of the 5 areas. Improving the system is a truly herculean task.
I was recently discussing the issue of our healthcare challenges, specifically relating to physician practice, with one of my best friends in England who I went to medical school with. This will be my 13th year living in America, but I still follow the news in the UK closely and stay in regular touch with all my British friends. As someone who has experienced medical practice at close quarters on 4 different continents, I am not a huge fan of the heavily centralized government healthcare control that exists in the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS). I believe that the ideal system for America lies between the two extremes—and should follow the model of a country like Australia.
Nevertheless, I am not so polarized as to think that there isn’t something every developed healthcare system can learn from another. I planned on interviewing my friend, who is a GP (general practitioner/family physician), about challenges faced by the UK’s primary care sector. I thought that would make interesting reading here in the US. Primary care is very strong in Britain, but does face significant physician practice and staffing problems. That interview is coming soon, but I wanted to share with you his initial text message reply, which should make fascinating reading for any doctor in the United States. Here it is below, and specifically note his views on: (i) healthcare information technology, (ii) primary care services, (iii) what every doctor wants.
“Control, autonomy, respect, and not to be taken for granted and treated badly”. All any intelligent professional really asks for.
Happy New Year!
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