Functional Healthcare

I notice there is a new report (via ABC) being shopped around the news media in Australia about doctors thinking of giving up the profession because of worries about liability (or more accurately, worries about litigation, irrespective of their liability).  This is not a trivial concern, and the need for doctors to take out expensive insurance policies to protect them against lawsuits is part of what drives the price of medical care upwards in Australia and (to a much greater extent) the US.  Indeed, the US is the paradigmatic example of litigiousness losing all sense of scale and reason.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, insofar as this will not happen), there is an alternative system available, which strictly curtails litigation and thereby makes medical care affordable.  This is the kind of no fault compensation scheme, government run, that is found in New Zealand: The Accident Compensation Corporation.  It is an option that should be considered far more than it currently is, and while the US is unlikely ever to be sensible enough to do anything like it, Australia at least potentially still could move towards the system.  As an added bonus, Australians have the benefit of seeing the teething problems with the NZ system and preventing them from occuring, rather than having to fix them on the fly as NZ has had to do.

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