domingo, novembro 08, 2009

What do people want?

Reforming health care: What do the people want?

This is the lead of a recent debate on the American health care and insurance reform.

At first blush, the answer appears simple. We WANT the ususal, pratically free health services on demand, "all gain and no pain", eternal youth.
And children aged 8 to 80 years old WANT to be able to have ice cream three times a day without the risk of developing obesity or diabetes.
That probably covers it neatly, if Santa Claus is reading blogs nowadays.

A better question regarding health care, is what do the people really NEED?

People need appropriate and and acessible health care that is financially affordable both the family and the national level: equitabe coverage, quality health gains and economically sustainable.
Everywhte, health care costs are shared between the patient's family and the taxpayers. In most European countries, taxpayers pay between 60-90% of total health expenditures. So clarifying what health services people not simply want but actually need has enornous implications for all, both as patients and as taxpayers.