Urgent Care Clinics may cut costs, expert says

The Urgent Care Clinics solution proposed by the Western Australia Labor Party has a great potential for lowering overall costs and improving quality of healthcare services, American policy expert Dr. Jeffrey Anderson said. A senior fellow from the bipartisan American think-tank Hudson Institute,  who is an author of a policy recommendation “Winning Alternative to the Obamacare”, explained that the current US healthcare reform failed also because its authors abandoned the idea of the Urgent Care Clinics.

“The Urgent Care Clinics solution are meant to reduce responsibility of government for healthcare through a partnership with the private providers” – Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, said. He added that the only guarantee to lower price of the healthcare services and to increase its economic efficiency is limiting of government involvement in this market.

Expert also emphasised that the major issues, which should be addressed in any cost-cutting strategy are fraud both on the side of providers and consumers of the services as well as “the freedom of private citizens to make individual decisions and enter into contracts of their own choosing”.

“The key to lower the health costs is to inject new life into the individual market” – Anderson emphasised.

The Western Australia Labor Party leader Mark McGowan called the concept of Urgent Care Clinics a new, innovative and “clever way of dealing with the crisis in the Western Australian context”.

“It has not been done by the WA government before. It is time to alleviate the pressure on our emergency care departments. It has not been any solutions…” – McGowan said.

According to the authors of the brochure published on Mark Gowan website, patients with non-life-threatening conditions will be treated in the Urgent Care Clinics that is the facilities seperate from the emergency hospital departments.

“These patients will be triaged at the hospital and taken to the clinic for further assessment. The patient will be managed by the emergency department but will be under the care of a GP and nurses more suited for the patient’s condition.” – the author of the brochure wrote.

International healthcare experts, who are familiar with the similar models, said that due to its complexity and the regional factors, the economic efficiency of the proposal can be assessed only when the Labor Party will provide the detailed financial strategy. Such a strategy should include the costs of adaption and construction of new facilities, the re-arrangements of existing and new medical staff and the other operational expenses.

Shadow Health Minister Roger Cook stressed that Labor understands that “the finance are tight” this why as he said, the proposed solution is “clever, affordable, cheap”.

 

(pht)