Monday, June 2, 2014

Why are we waiting? (2)

Yesterday we had the ooportunity of watching a documentary on waiting lists. The message was: there were 180 thousand patients waiting for surgery by the end of 2013 and this is the result of cutbacks on public health budgets.
Unfortunately the most relevant question was not asked. The documentary was created around a prejudice over the crisis and budget cuts, an ideological prejudice. Since they had the answer, why look for a question?
The right question any journalist should ask is: Why are there waiting lists? . And we have to remember that this is a fact and it is independent from economic crisis. You can check in this blog a former post on this issue.
Beyond such question, somebody should ask about the situation in other countries and the potential prescriptions for improvement. But the biased journalistic approach to a topic, requires the focus on a concrete ruling politician not on his policy.
If you want to know what happens in other countries, check here. If you want to know about potential solutions, check here. If you want to know how resources are allocated to providers, check here. (Yesterday somebody was saying that it is completely impossible to know how providers are paid (!), and the journalist was unable to check the internet (!)).
They forgot to say that health expenditure is strictly related to wealth creation. Public expenditure on health has jumped from 5% over GDP (2007) up to 5,6% over GDP (2011). Our government was spending 32% on health od the public budget, and right now is 40%. You may disagree about such level, but you must accept that has increased and we are poorer now than before.
Patients require solutions, and they also forgot in the documentary that avoidable hospitalisations is huge (!) (average 16%, range from 6% to 26%).
They also forgot that a methodology  has been proposed and adopted to prioritise waiting lists on a transparent way.
A wider and sound view about current challenges in health care would allow to understand reality and take better decisions. A new documentary should be recorded to replace it. This is my kind request to TV3.


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