Recent reform in the National Health Service has moved general practice towards a more intense market and competition structure. Meanwhile in the United States of America there has been an attempt to modify the free enterprise approach to medical care towards a more socially responsive system. This discussion paper provides a family doctor's perspective of primary care and the maelstrom of health care reform in the USA. The cultural, economic and organizational issues underlying the need for reform are considered in turn, and the current situation with regard to health care provision, medical research, medical education and primary care are outlined. General practitioners in the United Kingdom would do well to pay attention to the effects of market reform occurring in general practice among their American counterparts.
The medical component of workers' compensation programs-now costing over $24 billion annually-and the rest of the nation's medical care system are linked. They share the same patients and providers. They provide similar benefits and services. And they struggle over who should pay for what. Clearly, health care reform and restructuring will have a major impact on the operation and expenditures of the workers' compensation system. For a brief period, during the 1994 national health care reform debate, these two systems were part of the same federal policy development and legislative process. With comprehensive health care reform no longer on the horizon, states now are tackling both workers' compensation and medical system reforms on their own. This paper reviews the major issues federal and state policy makers face as they consider reforms affecting the relationship between workers' compensation and traditional health insurance. What is the relationship of the workers' compensation cost crisis to that in general health care? What strategies are being considered by states involved in reforming the medical component of workers compensation? What are the major policy implications of these strategies?
Rather than improving efficiency, the reforms imposed on the NHS have increased bureaucracy, reduced patient choice, limited the range of core services, and led to inequity of treatment. In this paper I examine how the medical profession might help to solve these problems. Priorities must be set for health care since no government can afford all the possibilities offered by medical science. It is essential to forge a consensus of patients, carers, professionals, the public, and government if a system of priorities is to be equitable and just. We also need to be able to measure quality of outcome in health care. This requires consensus on what is the desired outcome and the development of appropriate guidelines, audit, and performance review. This is primarily a task for the health professions supported by management and by adequate investment. Basically, the government must reinstate the three traditional values of the NHS--equity, consensus, and regard for representative professional advice.
New Zealand's health sector has undergone three significant restructures within 10 years. The most recent has involved a Primary Health Care Strategy, launched in 2001. Primary Health Organisations (PHOs), administered by 21 District Health Boards, are the local structures for implementing the Primary Health Care Strategy. Ninety-three percent of the New Zealand population is now enrolled within 79 PHOs, which pose a challenge to the well-established Independent Practitioner Associations (IPAs).
Although there was initial widespread support for the philosophy underlying the Primary Health Care Strategy, there are concerns amongst general practitioners (GPs) and their professional organisations relating to its implementation. These centre around 6 main issues:
1. Loss of autonomy
2. Inadequate management funding and support
3. Inconsistency and variations in contracting processes
4. Lack of publicity and advice around enrolment issues
5. Workforce and workload issues
6. Financial risks
On the other hand, many GPs are feeling positive regarding the opportunities for PHOs, particularly for being involved in the provision of a wider range of community health services. Australia has much to learn from New Zealand's latest health sector and primary health care reforms.
The key lessons concern:
• the need for a national primary health care strategy
• active engagement of general practitioners and their professional organisations
• recognition of implementation costs
• the need for infrastructural support, including information technology and quality systems
• robust management and governance arrangements
• issues related to critical mass and population/distance trade offs in service delivery models
The use of primary and managed care is likely to increase under proposed federal health care reform. I review the definition of primary care and primary care physicians and show that this delivery model can affect access to medical care, the cost of treatment, and the quality of services. Because the use of primary care is often greater in managed care than in fee-for-service, I compare the two insurance systems to further understand the delivery of primary care. Research suggests that primary care can help meet the goal of providing accessible, cost-effective, and high-quality care, but that changes in medical education and marketplace incentives will be needed to encourage students and trained physicians to enter this field.
This article examines the career and reform agenda of Christopher Merrett as a means of evaluating the changing conditions of medical knowledge production in late seventeenth-century London. This period was characterised by increasing competition between medical practitioners, resulting from the growing consumer demand for medical commodities and services, the reduced ability of elite physicians to control medical practice, and the appearance of alternative methods of producing medical knowledge – particularly experimental methods. This competition resulted in heated exchanges between physicians, apothecaries, and virtuosi, in which Merrett played an active part. As a prominent member of both the Royal Society and the Royal College of Physicians, Merrett sought to mediate between the two institutions by introducing professional reforms designed to alleviate competition and improve medical knowledge.These reforms entailed sweeping changes to medical regulation and education that integrated the traditional reliance on Galenic principles with knowledge derived from experiment and artisanal practices. The emphasis Merrett placed on the trades suggests the important role artisanal knowledge played in his efforts to reorganise medicine and improve knowledge of bodily processes.
Christopher Merrett; Artisanal Knowledge; Natural History; Natural Philosophy; Galenism; Royal Society; Royal College of Physicians; Physicians; Virtuosi; Apothecaries; Chemical Physicians; Professional Reform; Medical Marketplace; Competition; Pamphlet War
Medical malpractice reform is both necessary and desirable, yet certain types of reform are clearly preferable to others. We argue that “traditional” tort reform remedies such as stringent damage caps not only fail to address the root causes of negligence and the adverse effects that fear of suit can have on physicians, but also fail to address the needs of patients. Physicians ought to view themselves as professionals who are dedicated to putting patients’ interests ahead of their own. Professionally responsible malpractice reform should therefore be at least as patient-centered as it is physician-centered. Examples of more professionally responsible malpractice reform exist where institutions take a pro-active approach to identification, investigation, and remediation of possible malpractice. Such programs should be implemented more generally, and state laws enacted to facilitate them.
medical malpractice; professionalism; tort reform; patient-centered
It is widely recognized that the dramatic increase in health care costs in the United States has not led to a corresponding improvement in the health care experience of patients or the clinical outcomes of medical care. In no area of medicine is this more true than in the area of spine related disorders (SRDs). Costs of medical care for SRDs have skyrocketed in recent years. Despite this, there is no evidence of improvement in the quality of this care. In fact, disability related to SRDs is on the rise. We argue that one of the key solutions to this is for the health care system to have a group of practitioners who are trained to function as primary care practitioners for the spine. We explain the reasons we think a primary spine care practitioner would be beneficial to patients, the health care system and society, some of the obstacles that will need to be overcome in establishing a primary spine care specialty and the ways in which these obstacles can be overcome.
Low Back Pain; Neck Pain; Health Care Reform; Primary Care; Health Policy
Since 1960, numerous concepts of health-care reform have been submitted to the US Congress and the American public with different viewpoints and objectives. The priority for the US Congress to pass a bipartisan health-reform plan has been circumvented by the newly elected majority Republican Congress. Nevertheless, health-care cost containment, quality control, and health-care delivery concepts have been implemented gradually into the concept of competitive managerial health care. A few of the serious problems in the African-American community are the efficiency and quality of the health-care delivery system and the effects of managed care on African-American primary physicians and surgical specialists. The critical shortages of this group, especially the latter, may create a dilemma in the implementation of a quality surgical care delivery system. The Association of American Medical Colleges, the American College of Surgeons, and other affiliating organizations should become sensitized to the African-American community's health needs, deficiencies, and the rational institution of an equitable, efficient, comprehensive, and quality health-care plan coupled with a sustained and increasing supply of certified, diversified, and experienced African-American surgical manpower in company with family practice physicians and primary care physicians.
Little is known about African-American physicians' health system experience or their opinions on health reform. In an attempt to obtain socioculturally relevant data quantifying these experiences and opinions, the National Medical Association administered a 38-question, 80-item survey instrument in August 1993. The questionnaire was completed by 236 physicians. The results indicate that African-American physicians feel health care is a right and that the health system needs fundamental change. Although there was no consensus on the type of health reform needed, approximately 35% cited availability and access to care to be the greatest problem facing the system with high costs of care (18.2%) ranking second. Unique findings in the survey indicated respondents felt that the needs and concerns of most African Americans will not be fairly addressed in the reform of the health-care system, that African-African physicians are not included in the formation of health-care policies, and that African-American physicians are facing high levels of professional and healthcare system racial discrimination. More than 99% of African-American physicians reported some degree of racial discrimination in the practice of medicine including peer review, obtaining practice privileges at hospitals, hospital staff promotions, Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, malpractice suits, private insurance oversight and reimbursements, and referral practices of white colleagues. These findings have profound health policy, health financing, and health service delivery implications and should be included in debates and deliberations on health reform.
The question of whether Indian dentists should advertise their services is an important issue with significant ethical and professional implications. Individual dentists may feel the need to advertise in order to establish or grow a dental practice, but what effect does this have on the standing of the profession as a whole? As health care professionals are bound by a code of ethics, should dentists be allowed to advertise?
The purpose of this study is to examine the attitudes of Indian dentists to the issue of advertising. It also aims to explore whether advertising could have positive benefits (to increase the community’s awareness of dental health care, encourage better quality dental services, decrease unemployment in the industry, and help consumers choose a dentist), or, on the contrary, whether advertising could have a negative impact by undermining the reputation of the industry, in particular the definition of dentistry as a medical profession.
Of 1500 eligible participants, 423 dentists (28.2%) participated in the study. The questionnaire, comprising 14 questions, was provided to the respondents. The data was collected and analyzed by applying the “Chi-squared test” of association and the “Z test” of difference between two proportions at 5% and 1% levels of significance (ie, P = 0.05 and P = 0.01).
A majority of 56.02% of the respondents were in favor of dentists advertising their services. The majority of dentists in favor of advertising were in the youngest age group (22–30 years, 75.86%). The older age groups were more likely to agree and comply with the government ban on advertising by dentists.
While Indian culture and law does not regard advertising as ethical, in recent years there has been a change in the attitudes of dental professionals to the issue of advertising.
marketing; advertising; health care; ethics; law; dentistry; attitudes
OBJECTIVE: To determine primary care physicians' perceptions of their role in a reformed health system. DESIGN: Qualitative study using in-depth interviews. SETTING: Province of Nova Scotia. PARTICIPANTS: Purposefully selected sample of 14 practising primary care physicians. MAIN OUTCOME FINDINGS: Participants identified seven aspects of their role: primarily, diagnosis and treatment of patient's medical problems; then coordination, counseling, education, advocacy, disease prevention, and gatekeeping. The range of activities and degree of responsibility assumed by participants, however, varied. Factors affecting role perception fell into three categories: philosophical view of health and medicine, willingness to collaborate, and practical realities. Participants differed in their understanding of primary health care and their overall vision of the health system. Remuneration policies and concerns about sharing accountability were factors preventing an integrated, collaborative approach to care. Personal, patient, and structural realities also limited physicians' roles. CONCLUSIONS: This sample of primary care physicians had diverse perceptions of their role. Results of this study could provide information for identifying issues that need to be addressed to facilitate changes taking place in the health care system.
In 2001, the New Zealand government introduced its Primary Health Care Strategy (PHCS), aimed at strengthening the role of primary health care, in order to improve health and to reduce inequalities in health. As part of the Strategy, new funding was provided to reduce the fees that patients pay when they use primary health care services in New Zealand, to improve access to services and to increase service use. In this article, we estimate the impact of the new funding on general practitioner and practice nurse visit fees paid by patients and on consultation rates. The analyses involved before-and-after monitoring of fees and consultation rates in a random sample of 99 general practices and covered the period from June 2001 (pre-Strategy) to mid-2005.
Fees fell particularly in Access (higher need, higher per capita funded) practices over time for doctor and nurse visits. Fees increased over time for many in Interim (lower need, lower per capita funded) practices, but they fell for patients aged 65 years and over as new funding was provided for this age group. There were increases in consultation rates across almost all age, funding model (Access or Interim), socio-demographic and ethnic groups. Increases were particularly high in Access practices.
The Strategy has resulted in lower fees for primary health care for many New Zealanders, and consultation rates have also increased over the past few years. However, fees have not fallen by as much as expected in government policy given the amount of extra public money spent since there are limited requirements for practices to reduce patients' fees in line with increases in public funding for primary care.
Meaningful health reform in the United States must improve the health of the population while lowering costs. In an effort to provide a framework for doing so, the Institute of Health Care Improvement created the triple aim, which encompasses the goals of (1) improving individual health and experience with the health care system, (2) improving population health, and (3) decreasing the rate of per capita health care costs. Current reform efforts have focused on the development of Patient-Centered Medical Homes (an innovative team-based model of care that facilitates a partnership between the patient’s personal physician coordinating care throughout a patient’s lifetime to maximize health outcomes), but these relatively narrow efforts are focused on office practice and payment methods and are not generally oriented toward community needs. We sought to apply design research in assessing a community opportunity to apply the triple aim as a strategy to transform health care delivery. Mixed methodology provides greater insight into the unexpressed health needs of individuals and into the creation of delivery systems more likely to achieve the triple aim. In a small, midwestern town, a mixed methods approach was used to assess community health needs to facilitate design and implementation of care delivery systems. The research findings suggest that health system design concepts should focus on the creation of health, not health care; foster simplicity; create nurturing relationships; eliminate user fear; and contain costs. These observations can be helpful to health care professionals who are developing new methods of care delivery and policymakers and payers contemplating new payment systems to achieve the goals of the triple aim.
Knowledge and capabilities, particularly of a new technology or in a new area of study, frequently develop faster than the guidelines and principles needed for practitioners to practice ethically in the new arena; this is particularly true in medicine. The blending of medicine and healthcare with e-commerce and the Internet raises many questions involving what sort of ethical conduct should be expected by practitioners and developers of the medical Internet. Some of the early pioneers in medical and healthcare Web sites pushed the ethical boundaries with questionable, even unethical, practices. Many involved with the medical Internet are now working to reestablish patient and consumer trust by establishing guidelines to determine how the fundamentals of the medical code of ethical conduct can best be adapted for the medical/healthcare Internet. Ultimately, all those involved in the creation, maintenance, and marketing of medical and healthcare Web sites should be required to adhere to a strict code of ethical conduct, one that has been fairly determined by an impartial international organization with reasonable power to regulate the code. This code could also serve as a desirable, recognizable label-of-distinction for ethical Web sites within the medical and healthcare Internet community. One challenge for those involved with the medical and healthcare Internet will be to determine what constitutes "Medical Internet Ethics" or "Healthcare Internet Ethics," since the definition of medical ethics can vary from country to country. Therefore, the emerging field of Medical/ Healthcare Internet Ethics will require careful thought and insights from an international collection of ethicists in many contributing areas. This paper is a review of the current status of the evolving field of Medical/Healthcare Internet Ethics, including proposed definitions and identification of many diverse areas that may ultimately contribute to this multidisciplinary field. The current role that medicine and health play in the growing area of Internet communication and commerce and many of the ethical challenges raised by the Internet for the medical community are explored and some possible ways to address these ethical challenges are postulated.
Internet; Ethics, Medical; Ethics, Professional; Ethics, Informatics; Physician-Patient Relation; Code of Ethics; Research Ethics; Medical Informatics Ethics
This paper critically examines the morality of advertising by practitioners in spiritual healing and herbal medicine heretofore referred to as traditional medicine, in southern African urban societies. While the subject of traditional medicine has been heavily contested in medical studies in the last few decades, the monumental studies on the subject have emphasised the place of traditional medicine in basic health services. Insignificant attention has been devoted to examine the ethical problems associated with traditional medicine advertising. Critical look at the worthiness of some advertising strategies used by practitioners in traditional medicine in launching their products and services on market thus has been largely ignored. Yet, though advertising is key to helping traditional medicine practitioners’ products and services known by prospective customers, this research registers a number of morally negative effects that seem to outweigh the merits that the activity brings to prospective customers. The paper adopts southern African urban societies, and in particular Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe as particular references. The choice of the trio is not accidental, but based on the fact that these countries have in the last few decades been flooded with traditional medicine practitioners/traditional healers from within the continent and from abroad. Most of these practitioners use immoral advertising strategies in communicating to the public the products and services they offer. It is against this background that this paper examines the morality of advertising strategies deployed by practitioners in launching their products and services. To examine the moral worthiness of the advertising strategies used by traditional medical practitioners, I used qualitative analysis of street adverts as well as electronic and print media. From the results obtained through thematic content analysis, the paper concludes that most of the practitioners in traditional medicine lack both business and medical ethics. That said, the paper urges practitioners to seriously consider the morality of their adverts as in most cases they (adverts) do more harm than good. Further to that, the piece recommends the governments of the affected countries to put in place stringent measures to address this mounting problem.
Keyword Advertising; herbal; spiritual; healing; traditional medicine; morality; southern Africa
No course in genetics can prepare the practicing physician to interpret whole-genome data. We argue that genetics is a microcosm of the changing dynamics of the practice of medicine. It illustrates the perfect storm of exponential increases in raw data with undetermined clinical relevance, ease of access to large amounts of data via the internet and shifting expectations of the doctor-patient relationship and the very mechanisms of health care delivery. Educational reform is needed across the continuum of medical education, from the student to the faculty training them, and requires a shift in focus from factual knowledge to data management and interpretation.
In many countries, health-care labour markets are constantly being challenged by an alternation of shortage and oversupply. Avoiding these cyclic variations is a major challenge. In the Netherlands, a workforce planning model has been used in health care for ten years.
Since 1970, the Dutch government has explored different approaches to determine the inflow in medical schools. In 2000, a simulation model for health workforce planning was developed to estimate the required and available capacity of health professionals in the Netherlands. In this paper, this model is explained, using the Dutch general practitioners as an example. After the different steps in the model are clarified, it is shown how elements can be added to arrive at different versions of the model, or ‘scenarios’. A comparison is made of the results of different scenarios for different years. In addition, the subsequent stakeholder decision-making process is considered.
Discussion and evaluation
Discussion of this paper shows that workforce planning in the Netherlands is a complex modelling task, which is sensitive to different developments influencing the balance between supply and demand. It seems plausible that workforce planning has resulted in a balance between supply and demand of general practitioners. Still, it remains important that the modelling process is accepted by the different stakeholders. Besides calculating the balance between supply and demand, there needs to be an agreement between the stakeholders to implement the advised training inflow.
The Dutch simulation model was evaluated using six criteria to be met by models suitable for policy objectives. This model meets these criteria, as it is a comprehensive and parsimonious model that can include all relevant factors.
Over the last decade, health workforce planning in the Netherlands has become an accepted instrument for calculating the required supply of health professionals on a regular basis. One of the strengths of the Dutch model is that it can be used for different types of medical and allied health professionals. A weakness is that the model is not yet fully capable of including substitutions between different medical professions to plan from a skill-mix perspective. Several improvements remain possible.
It is estimated that in 2000 almost 175 million people, or 2.9% of the world's population, were living outside their country of birth, compared to 100 million, or 1.8% of the total population, in 1995. As the global labour market strengthens, it is increasingly highly skilled professionals who are migrating. Medical practitioners and nurses represent a small proportion of highly skilled workers who migrate, but the loss of health human resources for developing countries can mean that the capacity of the health system to deliver health care equitably is compromised. However, data to support claims on both the extent and the impact of migration in developing countries is patchy and often anecdotal, based on limited databases with highly inconsistent categories of education and skills.
The aim of this paper is to examine some key issues related to the international migration of health workers in order to better understand its impact and to find entry points to developing policy options with which migration can be managed.
The paper is divided into six sections. In the first, the different types of migration are reviewed. Some global trends are depicted in the second section. Scarcity of data on health worker migration is one major challenge and this is addressed in section three, which reviews and discusses different data sources. The consequences of health worker migration and the financial flows associated with it are presented in section four and five, respectively. To illustrate the main issues addressed in the previous sections, a case study based mainly on the United Kingdom is presented in section six. This section includes a discussion on policies and ends by addressing the policy options from a broader perspective.
In the transition from a planned economy to a market-oriented economy, China’s state funding for health care declined and traditional coverage plans collapsed, leaving China’s poor exposed to potentially ruinous health care costs. In reforming health care for the 21st century, equity in health care financing has become a major policy goal. To assess progress towards this goal, this paper examines the equity characteristics of health care financing in a province of northwestern China, comparing the equity performance between urban and rural areas at two different points in time.
Analysis of whether health care financing contributions were progressive according to income were made using the Kakwani index for each of the four health care financing channels of general taxes, public and private health insurance, and out-of-pocket payments. Two rounds of surveys were conducted, the first in 2003 (13,619 individuals in 3946 households) and the second in 2008 (12,973 individuals in 3958 households). Household socio-economic, health care payment, and utilization information were recorded in household interviews.
Low-income households have undertaken a larger share of the health care financing burden in recent years, reflected by negative Kakwani indices, which indicate a regressive system. We found that the indices for general taxation were −0.0024 (urban) and −0.0281 (rural) in 2002, and −0.0177 (urban) and −0.0097 (rural) in 2007. Public health insurance presented different financing distributions in urban and rural areas (urban: 0.0742 in 2002, 0.0661 in 2007; rural: –0.0615 in 2002,–0.1436 in 2007.). Out-of-pocket payments were progressive but not equitable. Public health insurance coverage has expanded but financing equity has decreased.
Health care financing policies in China need ongoing reform. Given the inequity of general consumption taxes, elimination of these would improve financing equity considerably. Optimizing benefit packages in public health insurance is as important as expanding coverage, both for health care financing and for utilization management as well. Although they are progressive, out-of-pocket payments are not equitable in China and have the effect of excluding the poor from health care as they cannot afford to pay for medical care and so withdraw from treatment.
Equity; Chinese health care reform; Financing; Kakwani index
After the Liberation by Mao Ze Dong's Communist army in 1949, China experienced massive social and economic change. The dramatic reductions in mortality and morbidity of the next two decades were brought about through improvements in socioeconomic conditions, an emphasis on prevention, and almost universal access to basic health care. The economic mismanagement of the Great Leap Forward brought about a temporary reversal in these positive trends. During the Cultural Revolution there was a sustained attack on the privileged position of the medical profession. Most city doctors were sent to work in the countryside, where they trained over a million barefoot doctors. Deng Xiao Ping's radical economic reforms of the late 1970s replaced the socialist system with a market economy. Although average incomes have increased, the gap between rich and poor has widened.
In the climate of concern about high medical costs, the relationship between the trade and professional aspects of medical practice is receiving close scrutiny. In the United Kingdom there is talk of increasing privatisation of health services, and in the United States the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has attempted to define medicine as a trade for the purposes of commercial regulation. The Supreme Court recently upheld the FTC charge that the American Medical Association (AMA) has been in restraint of trade because of ethical strictures against advertising. The concept of profession, as it has been analyzed in sociological, legal, philosophical, and historical perspectives, reveals the importance of an ethic of service as well as technical expertise as defining characteristics of professions. It is suggested that the medical profession should pay more attention to its service ideal at this time when doctors are widely perceived to be technically preoccupied.
This paper offers a wide ranging analysis of the drivers that resulted in scrutiny of medical, nursing, and healthcare professional roles. It suggests that what is needed is a coherent vision of the future shape of the health workforce. This requires moving beyond the presumption that reforming working practices primarily involves "delegating doctors" responsibilities to nurses. The paper argues that it is self evident that the implications of changes in healthcare roles and the ability of existing professionals to function effectively in the future will require education, training, and human resource investment supportive of the changes. It suggests a clear definition of competence and a national standard to practice is essential for nurses working in acute and acute critical settings. There should therefore be a correlation between levels of practice, levels of education, and remuneration. Furthermore, education programmes for senior nurses should sit coherently alongside the education programmes required by Modernising Medical Careers. Finally, the realisation of the government's service and modernisation agenda will require a culture change within higher education institutions, postgraduate deaneries, professional organisations, workforce development confederations, and NHS trusts.
It is observed in studies done for western medical journals that insufficient information related to drug is usually provided in the drug advertisements published in them.
As data for advertisements published in Indian Medical Journals were lacking, this study was designed with the aim of evaluating drug advertisements published in Indian Medical Journals for adequacy of information on drug and references given to support the claim made in the advertisements.
Settings and Design:
Methods and Materials:
All medical journals related to clinical practice subscribed by the Central Library of Government Medical College, Surat, (Indian Journal of Pediatrics [IJP], Indian Pediatrics [IP], Journal of the Association of Physicians of India [JAPI], Journal of Indian Medical Association [JIMA], Indian Journal of Critical Care Medicine [IJCCM], Indian Journal of Medical and Pediatric Oncology [IJMPO], Indian Journal of Gastroenterology [IJG], Indian Journal of Ophthalmology [IJO], and Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology of India [JOGI] were evaluated for adequacy of reporting of various parameters in drug advertisements published in these journals on the basis of “World Heath Organization (WHO)” criteria. References mentioned to support claims were also evaluated.
Statistical Analysis Used:
Descriptive statistics was used to describe data as frequencies, percentages, and 95% confidence interval around the percentage.
Generic name was mentioned in 90% advertisements. Indications were mentioned in 84% advertisements. Dose, precautions, and contraindications were mentioned in 24%, 17%, and 16% advertisements, respectively. Adverse effects and postal address of pharmaceutical company was mentioned in 19% and 74% advertisements, respectively. Price was mentioned in only 5% advertisements. Only 28% claims were supported by references. Most common references were Journal articles (75%).
Drug advertisements published in Indian Medical Journals are poor in reporting various parameters according to WHO criteria.
Drug advertisements; ethics; Indian Medical Journals; WHO criteria
Over one year after passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), legislators, healthcare experts, physicians, and the general public continue to debate the implications of the law and its repeal. The PPACA will have a significant impact on future physicians, yet medical student perspectives on the legislation have not been well documented.
To evaluate medical students' understanding of and attitudes toward healthcare reform and the PPACA including issues of quality, access and cost.
Design, Setting, and Participants
An anonymous electronic survey was sent to medical students at 10 medical schools (total of 6982 students) between October–December 2010, with 1232 students responding and a response rate of 18%.
Main Outcome Measures
Medical students' views and attitudes regarding the PPACA and related topics, measured with Likert scale and open response items.
Of medical students surveyed, 94.8% agreed that the existing United States healthcare system needs to be reformed, 31.4% believed the PPACA will improve healthcare quality, while 20.9% disagreed and almost half (47.7%) were unsure if quality will be improved. Two thirds (67.6%) believed that the PPACA will increase access, 6.5% disagreed and the remaining 25.9% were unsure. With regard to containing healthcare costs, 45.4% of participants indicated that they are unsure if the provisions of the PPACA will do so. Overall, 80.1% of respondents indicated that they support the PPACA, and 78.3% also indicated that they did not feel that reform efforts had gone far enough. A majority of respondents (58.8%) opposed repeal of the PPACA, while 15.0% supported repeal, and 26.1% were undecided.
The overwhelming majority of medical students recognized healthcare reform is needed and expressed support for the PPACA but echoed concerns about whether it will address issues of quality or cost containment.