"Global Health Delivery" is a perfect example of a paper on the health system. Ever since the inception of the world, the only thing that is constant is CHANGE. The world is continuously changing to incorporate better, advanced and successful modes and methods improving the standard of living and bringing comfort and security in the lives of people. The UK health system is also witnessing the need for technological improvements in order to better equip with the future. This health system is a public contracting model as the government contracts various healthcare service providers on behalf of the general public.
“ The UK healthcare system provides auspices of National Health Services (NHS), offers universal health insurance coverage financed through taxation. ” (Dewar 2010)) This healthcare system is highly sophisticated and is on the continuous outlook for more technological improvements. The complexities that hinder these technological improvements are the simultaneous restructuring of the health insurance program and the infrastructure of the health facilities. The interdependence of the services and the infrastructure has caused delays in technological advancements and innovations. Also integrating the polyclinic culture into the healthcare system is making the innovation and advancements more complex and time-consuming. The investment for the innovations and restructuring of the health sector is done through various public-private partnerships, with the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) being the most important yet controversial mechanism for hospital funding.
“ Official figures show that, under Private Finance Initiative [PFI] schemes, British taxpayers are committed to paying £ 229 billion for new hospitals, schools and other projects with a capital value of just £ 56 billion. ” (Gilligan 2011) The PFI has often been questioned for its viability in providing a secure future to the hospital system in terms of technology.
“ The PFI was introduced in the 1990s with the aim of achieving closer partnerships between the public and private sectors” (Lambert 2007) The implications of PFI for innovation revolve around risk reduction, supply-chain integration, and long-term performance management arrangements. “ A key consideration for the government in introducing the PFI was to transfer risk from the public to the private sector. ” (Barlow & Koberle-Gaiser, 2009) This method is a long-term investment process that is supposed to diversify away from the systematic risk and financial uncertainty in the health care industry. According to the PFI, the trust would be able to maximize the value of money of bids.
Improvement in the supply-chain will bring more transparent communication channels helping towards innovations in development and construction. But when it comes to costing the supply-chain integration prefers prime contracting over PFI. “ The PFI has been seen as a costly exercise to bid for. ” (Bower 2003) However, despite its costly nature, PFI ensures long-term asset management resulting in greater inclination toward innovation. The PFI has faced many questions regarding its feasibility and productivity in inculcating innovation in the hospital design and construction in the UK.
The PFI’ s aim to bring innovation is dampened firstly by its high implementation costs. Also, different bodies involved in the proper implementation of the PFI for innovation are in conflict with each other harming the innovation process. The groups involved, are often skeptical about the performance of the contractors “ There is a possibility that a contractor may not manage transferred risks well. ” (Corner 2003) Therefore there are many grey areas and in order for PFI to truly contribute towards innovation in the healthcare sector in the UK, it needs to be fully integrated with all stakeholders working with trust and commitment to the PFI and the resultant innovation.
Barlow, J., & Koberle-Gaiser, M. (2009). Delivering innovation in hospital construction: Contracts & collaboration in the UK's private finance initiative hospitals program. California Management Review, 52(2), 6.
Bower, D. (2003). Management of procurement. (pp. 210-215). Reston: ASCE Press.
Corner, D. (2003). The United Kingdom private finance initiative: The challenge of assessing risks. OECD Journal on Budgeting, 5(3), 43-45.
Dewar, D. M. (2010). Essentials of health economics. (pp. 131-135). Mississauga: Jones & Barlett Publishers.341.
Gilligan, A. (2011, Jan 24). Private finance initiative: hospitals will bring taxpayers 60 years of pain. The Telegraph. Retrieved from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8279974/Private-Finance-Initiative-hospitals-will-bring-taxpayers-60-years-of-pain.html
Lambert, R. (2007, June). Building on success- the way to PFI. Retrieved from http://www.infrastructureaustralia.gov.au/publications/files/Bldg_on_success_The_way_forward_4_PFI_UK_CBI.pdf