Restrictive surgery hours costs business £1 billion every year

September 18, 2007 5:09 PM

The Times reports a new survey showing the cost to Britain of time off to visit the doctor.

"The Confederation of British Industry said yesterday that the cost to the economy caused by restricted surgery times and problems booking appointments was more than £1 billion. The CBI argues that patients should be able to register at more than one surgery so they could visit a doctor close to where they work, as well as near their homes, to speed up treatment."

This is the kind of problem that could easily be solved by freeing public services from political management and making them accountable to their customers like any other business.  Then any business that could deliver healthcare at more convenient times would make more money, out-compete its rivals and force them to meet the public need for treatment outside of office hours.  By contrast, we have had to wait for a new government initiative with an eye-catching proposal to put surgeries in shops and will have to hope it doesn't wind up in the long grass once the headlines have faded and ministerial attention has moved on.

The Times reports a new survey showing the cost to Britain of time off to visit the doctor.

"The Confederation of British Industry said yesterday that the cost to the economy caused by restricted surgery times and problems booking appointments was more than £1 billion. The CBI argues that patients should be able to register at more than one surgery so they could visit a doctor close to where they work, as well as near their homes, to speed up treatment."

This is the kind of problem that could easily be solved by freeing public services from political management and making them accountable to their customers like any other business.  Then any business that could deliver healthcare at more convenient times would make more money, out-compete its rivals and force them to meet the public need for treatment outside of office hours.  By contrast, we have had to wait for a new government initiative with an eye-catching proposal to put surgeries in shops and will have to hope it doesn't wind up in the long grass once the headlines have faded and ministerial attention has moved on.

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