We start the year with health systems that are more strained than ever after a pandemic that has exploded a host of long-hidden problems: low funding, diverse needs of populations without the system being able to adapt, Inefficiencies, lack of professionals. ..and the pressure will increase due to an avalanche of new high-cost treatments per patient and the appearance of new business models based on digitization and data analysis.
It is clear that reducing a part of these shortfalls would require an increase in health expenditure, but it is not worth doing any more. First we need to take into account the new needs of a population with more chronic diseases and more elderly people living alone.
Second, these needs must be prioritised, betting on scientific evidence and funding what contributes most to health. Spending on treatments that work isn’t necessarily the best we can do with these resources: what other treatments do we have to say no to? Is there an alternative cheaper way to get the same (or better) result? NICE, the independent evaluation agency in the UK, provides specialist advice on these and other dimensions and is a good example to consider.
Change needed in the face of a population with more chronic diseases
Third, we need to find new ways to organize systems to respond more efficiently to new needs. It is well known that lonely older people are more likely to have health complications. In many of these cases, the combination of social and health care makes a difference in both quality of life and costs to the system. There have been many proposals and some attempts to integrate both aspects of care, but in the end we have always been stuck with the issue of funding and having two separate budgets, which makes it difficult to consolidate health savings. By spending more on social care.
Fourth, we have to take care of those who take care of us and at this point we have a bunch of tired toilers. In an article with Judit Weil, we have already found that the daily stress of the fight against the pandemic had a negative impact on the physical and mental health of doctors, which persisted after the outbreak of the pandemic and especially those doctors pronounced for, who worked there. In the emergency room and primary care. Also, these professionals have to contribute in becoming the agents of change for value-based healthcare.
It is time to start a bigger debate on health spending, acknowledging that not all Euros spent on health are equal. We have to talk about what needs to be done and also what we need to stop doing or do differently. It is not just an expense that will continue to grow unabated with aging populations and new treatments, but an investment in improving one’s quality of life and, well spent, a source of savings for future spending Could