Some good comparative observations between UK and US healthcare and the respective challenges by Len Lichtenfeld of the American Cancer Society. Also applies to the Canadian context. Quote:
What is immutable is the fact that both our countries are going to have to come to grips with some very difficult issues when it comes to providing high quality cancer care. Those decisions won’t be easy, whether it relates to how we prevent and detect cancer early, or what treatments we choose to offer, or when we decide more treatment is futile. The UK has a long history of paying attention to quality of life, pain management and hospice care. Our politicians call that “death panels”. You call it compassion.
As I look into my crystal ball, I suspect that over the next number of years we are going to become a lot more like you than most people can imagine or want to imagine. Whether that is “good” or “bad” will always be in the eyes of the beholder. But it is a change we have to consider.
There may be some in the UK who look to the US and our latest, cutting-edge technology, with a tinge of envy about what we do when it comes to providing health care (actually, more often “sick care”) here in the United States. The problem is we can’t afford to keep doing it.
Clearly, at some point in the not too distant future, we in the US are going to have to make some difficult decisions about how we use the limited resources available for health care and provide greater access to those in need. I suspect there are some lessons you have learned and decisions you have made in the UK that we could benefit from.