Patient Safety and Health Policy

Triggle,Nick. Soaring costs prompt rethink of long-term care planning, Nursing Management 19.10 (Mar 2013) 6-7.

The article talks about how the public health budget in the UK has steadily grown over the years.  It has now superceded military spending and consumers 8.2% of national GDP.  But the bad news is that this trend is expected to continue in the future and could grow to 20% of GDP by 2061.  Considering an ageing population and shortage of funding and resources the country is faced with a large crisis in the near future.

In the article, some constructive suggestions were put forward by experienced healthcare professionals and policy makers. One important idea is to integrate social care and health care so that cost efficiencies are achieved. This is especially true for palliative, chronic or mental health issues.  Another important idea is focussing on preventative health measures so that instances of hospitalization are reduced.  Training the aging population to cope independently is also a good idea on two counts.  First it minimizes hospitalization and second it allows the elderly to spend their twilight years in dignity and grace.

So, in sum, author Nick Triggle points to a few important policy directions for the future.  Unless these creative and pragmatic solutions are not translated into public policy, healthcare costs will soon spiral out of control.  Such an outcome would have repercussions to the larger economy affecting the labour market as well as economic growth. Hence rethinking the existing healthcare model is an imperative.  At this juncture even radical alternatives should be given due consideration.