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publicado em 11/10/2011 às 18h00:00
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Claim that the British government's patient choice improves health is failing

Report reveals error in the study used by the government to approve the idea that competition between hospitals improve the patient brings

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ESEARCH P ensures that the introduction of patient choice in the NHS in the UK reduces deaths from heart attacks is flawed and misleading, according to a report published by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London.

The researchers said the study was originally used by the government to approve the idea and formed the basis for the statement of Prime Minister David Cameron that "competition is a way to make things work better for patients."

The new report, led by Professor Allyson Pollock, shows a series of errors in the study and concludes that it is "fundamentally flawed".

The study quoted by Cameron is a researcher's work Zack Cooper and colleagues (, which was published by the Ministry of Health for the work they examined the mortality rates for heart attack patients measured in the number of hospitals within a given area. They also analyzed data on elective surgery for hernia, cataract, hip and knee arthroscopy, to show that the introduction of a choice of elective surgery led to lower death rates from heart attacks.

Pollock and colleagues say that, fundamentally, the study offers no explanation of why the availability of choice for elective procedures such has no effect on survival of patients after a heart attack.

The report also notes that:

- Researchers have not looked at the availability of choice has no effect on where patients go for treatment;

- Recent research indicates that patients who were given a choice, decided by a nearby hospital;

- Heart attack is a medical emergency and patients usually have no choice about where they are treated;

- Results for patients with heart attacks tend to be better when they are treated in specialized centers in urban areas;

- There is no evidence that data on elective surgeries are somehow a good measure of choice or competition.

According to Pollock, the government has faced enormous opposition from the public and health professionals. In an attempt to win over his critics Prime Minister used the study by Zack Cooper to justify competition in the National Health Service "Our analysis of this research reveals that it is fundamentally flawed, corresponding to the conclusion that the paper simply does not prove any cause or effect of patient choice and death rates, says the teacher.

   Palavras-chave:   Patient choice    The British government    Queen Mary    University of London    NHS    David Cameron    Allyson Pollock   
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