Focus on health reform

Steve Ford

I’ve been following what Barack Obama has been saying on Twitter and in the news about health reform. He wants to make sure more Americans have some kind of insurance cover and that the spiralling costs of health care are brought under control.

I was in the US last year and spoke to all the Parkinson's organisations about this. It was strange that it did not seem to be a big issue for them, maybe because most people with Parkinson's are older and qualify for state funding.

I heard a few stories of individuals who couldn't afford the best drugs – but I notice that one of the charities I visited has not decided to focus their campaigning on health insurance - but instead on other Parkinson's specific issues. In contrast, we campaign on wider issues like equal access to healthcare through our Fair Care for Parkinson's campaign.

People are passionate on both sides of the debate and our National Health Service has been dragged into the argument. Some see the NHS as a model of a fair and efficient system, but others see it as a bureaucracy where faceless organisations made decisions that impact on patients' treatment.

I know that here in the UK, many people with Parkinson's feel unhappy with their treatment, because they disagree with the choices made for them by health bodies.

In England, the health care system has started to enable patients to choose their own providers. The social care system has introduced individual budgets so people can have more control over the services they get.

I'm really keen to hear from people affected by Parkinson's whether they feel they have enough choice over their health or social care, and how this could be made better. If you want to share your views, we're looking for people to take part in a discussion session in London at our National Office on Friday 11 December. If you're interested in attending - or have any questions - please email or post your thoughts below.

Steve Ford is Chief Executive of the Parkinson's Disease Society

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.