Thursday 13 November 2008

Consumers can't find best deals - what about patients?

A lack of clear, comparative information makes it hard for consumers to get the best deals in utilities such as mobile phones, gas and electricity. Not a great surprise to read the results of a study showing providers making minimal efforts to help the customer. Worse still is that the elderly and those from lower social classes do especially badly from this situation.

All those working in healthcare will recognise parallels in this story. In the UK the "pushy middle class" are known to be more active in demanding and choosing the services they needs - and achieve better health outcomes than those from less privileged backgrounds.

As the Government pushes its "patient choice" agenda there is a very real risk that this health gap will rapidly widen. Given how difficult it is to source something as simple as the best electricity deal, then how much harder will our patients find it to ensure they can choose truly great care for themselves and their families?

BBC news - Consumers can't find the best deals


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