Public service reform more urgent than ever
A new paper from the Centre for Economic Performance finds that competition in the NHS improves hospital efficiency without any negative impact on patient outcomes.
(New Royal London hospital in Whitechapel, right, has little to do with this story.)
“Does Hospital Competition Improve Efficiency? An Analysis of the Recent Market-Based Reforms to the English NHS” by Zack Cooper, Stephen Gibbons, Simon Jones and Alistair McGuire at the London School of Economics finds that “hospitals located in areas where patients have a great deal of choice improve their efficiency more quickly than hospitals located in less competitive markets”.
In a press release, Cooper, the lead author, says:
The NHS is going to face significant pressure to slow health care spending. Unfortunately, there are only two ways to slow how much we spend on health care: we can either cut services or become more efficient.
Clearly, we’d rather see hospitals becoming more efficient instead of cutting services that patients value. Our research suggests that this can happen through greater patient choice and hospital competition.
Cooper was co-author of an excellent article in LSE Research magazine, about which I wrote in March.
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