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Reforms Needed for a World Class Health Service 03/11/2003



Scotland should introduce more patient choice to reduce waiting lists and create a world class health service, says a new paper by the Policy Institute, a Scottish based think tank.

“There is a golden opportunity over the next three years for radical improvement in access and quality to health services for the people of Scotland,” says the paper - ‘A Healthy Future for Scotland’, by Professor Nick Bosanquet.

“Scotland has the people and the resources required to make this happen,” it continues. “Can it find the motivation and drive to improve results and maximise value for patients from the Scottish health pound?”

Bosanquet, a professor of health policy at Imperial College, says “There is little in the policy mix set for the next crucial five years which will have any impact at all on the underlying problem of productivity - which appears to be the great unmentionable of Scottish health politics”.

Instead he recommends that GPs be given power to refer patients “wherever service is best and quickest,” citing reforms in Scandinavia and England. He also calls for more a dramatic programme to improve diet and lifestyle in deprived areas, devolved budgets for health boards and more funding for voluntary organisations.

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