British Healthcare System Reorganizes

LONDON, July 9 (UPI) — British doctors will be solely responsible for front-line patient care under a new-look plan for Britain’s national healthcare system, health officials said.

Health officials said the plan, outlined in a white paper that will be published next week, is designed to shift key decisions about patient care to the doctors who know them, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

Under the plans, doctors would receive government funds to pay hospitals directly instead of the money being given to a system of primary care trusts that pay for hospital treatment for patients from their areas.

The change means strategic health authorities and primary care trusts under the National Health Service will be scrapped and tens of thousands of administrative jobs lost, officials said.

Officials said they hope the new, mandatory system will reduce red tape and give doctors and patients more control over treatment strategies.

The decision represents a victory for Health Secretary Andrew Lansley, who has the backing of Prime Minister David Cameron about his decision to turn over taxpayer money to doctors.

Nigel Edwards, acting NHS Confederation acting chief executive officer, warned the changes would be difficult to implement, the publication said.

“In transition to this new system there are some quite significant risks,” Edward said. “Obviously it is going to take time to implement this and the (primary care trusts) at the moment are the people who keep the lid on the performance and financial management of the system.”

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