Focus Point - Why Socialized Medicine Won't WorkCommentary by Pete du Pont
September 19, 2001
I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. The group physicians for a national health program and others advocating a single-payer health care system to improve quality and access to care say it would lessen physician frustration and make patients' lives better. But a new NCPA study shows they're exactly wrong.
American doctors complain they spend too little time with patients. Yet research shows U.S. physicians spend one to two minutes more with patients than 10 years ago, while British and Canadian national health doctors see 40 percent more patients annually.
American doctors complain about paperwork, but their frustration is nothing compared with British National health doctors, where a recent survey found 80 percent would quit if they could.
The quality of care suffers far more under national health and single payer systems. Twenty percent of British physicians know someone who's been harmed by rationing and delays. A majority of Canadian, British and Australian doctors believe delays are a problem. The U.S. system isn't perfect, but it needs more freedom, choice and flexibility, not less.
Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, the computer age.