The lives of 300 heart attack patients have been saved every year since competition was introduced to NHS hospitals, according to a new study.
In more detail:
The updated paper, published in The Economic Journal, looks at the effects of a more liberal NHS on 30-day mortality rates for patients diagnosed with Acute Myocardial Infarction; that is the proportion who died within a month of suffering a heart attack.
In 2006, Labour gave patients the right to choose where to be treated for routine surgery, introduced a fixed price for many procedures carried out in hospitals, and allowed those that balanced their books the right to become more independent Foundation Trusts.
Dr Cooper and colleagues looked at data for 433,325 patients who had heart attacks between 2002 and 2008 – covering the period before and after fixed-price competition was introduced – at 227 hospital sites in England.
They found that death rates dropped by about 7 per cent under the new regime, and fell quicker in “more competitive markets”. The number of patients being treated also fell.
As a result, the authors estimate that “the reforms resulted in approximately 300 fewer deaths per year after the reforms were introduced in 2006”.
This is the second paper (that I know about of course) that shows that competition in health care saves lives. Anyone care to point me at those papers that show that competition kills people?