The ‘Postcode Lottery’
Since the inception in 1948 the U.K national health service has had three care principles: It should meet the needs of everyone; be free at the point of delivery; and be based on clinical need and not the ability to pay, private medical care has always existed alongside the publicly funded healthcare, with patients often seen privately and the NHS providing healthcare for people who cannot afford it.
The ethics of private practice in a largely publicly funded system such as here in the U.K are not all that simple, contentious points include access to treatments, queue jumping by people who can afford to, the use of NHS facilities for private purposes and many more.
Private medical care does have some advantages which are; No queues, Peace of mind, Choice, Private rooms, Unrestricted visiting, Personal care, continuity of care and access to a specialist care team and the disadvantages are that not all conditions are covered, some appointments and treatments are not covered, It can be difficult to know what PMI suits you, you get what you pay for, premium costs are rising with inflation, you can’t predict illness, expertise and time constraints.
Recent topics being raised are postcode lottery for weight loss and Panorama, first broadcasted in the U.K on the 18th of August 2008, They investigated the ‘Postcode Lottery’ the expression used to describe differences in the availability of medicines and other treatments dependant on where you live, and hence under the authority of which primary care trust (PCT) your provision falls.
This thirty minute episode focused on discrepancies in the guidelines for prescribing three medications: AVASTIN, LUCENTIS and ARICEPT, which are used in the treatment of bowel cancer, wet age- related macular degeneration (WET AMD) and Alzheimer’s disease, respectively. What all these drugs have in common are that they are licenced as safe and effective for use in the U.K, but have not been approved for...