Dr. Berger offers us a valuable view from the perspectives of his friends
and relatives in Great Britain. Private-sector medical care has expanded there
and overlaps with care provided under the National Health Service (NHS). For
example, because of the shortage of NHS beds, 80 percent of the beds in the
private sector are used for NHS patients. Also, some NHS consultants see
private patients as well.
In most countries of the world, including the United States, people with
sophistication, education, and money can get better care than those without.
My point was this: with millions of people uninsured, millions of dollars and
hours of physicians' time consumed by dealing with more than 1,300 health
insurance companies, and the highest per-capita expenditure on health
care—all without concomitant excellence in outcomes—we need to
learn all the lessons we can from the health care systems of other