However, the UK is not alone in this issue. A recently published international study of healthcare systems (of which I was a co-author) and which covered countries across both the developed and developing world, has suggested that most existing health systems are unlikely to remain sustainable in the absence of additional funding and/or the adoption of new, innovative approaches to delivering healthcare services. Only 9% of respondents indicated that the existing approach to financing health services in their country was sustainable in the long-term while 64% stated that it is unlikely or impossible to continue with the status quo.
Alongside health funding and configuration issues, it is clear that the demographic, technological and economic changes are creating additional demands on healthcare services at a time when the public are seeking further improvements in both the quality of services provided and scope of treatments available.
The study, also uncovered significant challenges for policymakers, across the globe, tasked with pushing through major changes to respective healthcare services and systems in the face of a very resistant public, and during times of austerity and budget cutbacks. While there is no doubt major change is needed when it comes to the provision of healthcare worldwide, policymakers need to find a way to communicate this difficult message when the public often fiercely resists changes.