| ของเขามีสมาคมผู้ป่วย (patient association)|
ของเรามีแต่สมาคมแพทย์ (medical association)
Patients get four-hospital choice
Patients in England will now get a choice of at least four hospitals for non-emergency operations under NHS reforms which have come into effect.
The government says the Patient Choice reforms will cut waiting times and drive up standards.
Patients' groups have welcomed the move but say it risks being undermined by delays in upgrading the NHS IT system to link GP practices to hospitals.
Choose and Book is currently available in only 25% of GP surgeries.
In practices where the system is not working, the traditional route of making appointments by letter will have to be used.
Full implementation of e-booking, which was intended to tie-in with Patient Choice, has been delayed by a year.
Choice is now a reality in the NHS. Patients have new rights over their own healthcare
Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt
Simon Williams, director of policy at the Patients Association, said: "Patient choice is great, it is about time the public were able to make decisions about their care.
"But the problem is they have limited access to information and with the IT upgrade behind schedule there is a concern it will not work as it should."
However, Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt said despite the delays, patients would still see the benefits.
"Choice is now a reality in the NHS. Patients have new rights over their own healthcare.
"These rights will allow patients to choose services which best meet their individual needs and preferences.
"It will take some time for everybody to get used to this new system, but I am confident that the benefits will be worth it."
Booklets have been produced for each local area detailing the choice on offer for each speciality.
For some, patients will have a choice of as many as 10 hospitals, including private hospitals where care can be provided at NHS cost.
The government is planning to extend the initiative so that by 2008 patients can choose from any hospital.
It will form part of a wider plan to extend choice across the NHS, including in primary care settings such as GP surgeries. A white paper later this month is expected to set out how that can be achieved.
But Jonathan Fielden, deputy chairman of the British Medical Association's consultants committee, said research had suggested choice was not a priority among patients.
"Our surveys have shown other things such as hospital cleanliness are more important."
And Shadow Health Secretary Andrew Lansley added choice was being undermined by the problems with choose and book.
"So far this reform has been costly, unworkable and failed to deliver for patients. The system is not user friendly and it's plagued by software problems."
|โดย: ของประเทศอังกฤษ [1 ม.ค. 49 12:59] ( IP A:220.127.116.11 X: )|