How Not to Pay Doctors
Todd, John W.
Lancet. 1984 May 19; 1(8386): 1110-1111.
Fee for item-of-service is described as the "most corrupting way" to pay physicians. Despite the existence of Britain's National Health Service, doctors are paid additional fees for specific types of services. The author objects to this manner of payment because he thinks it encourages unnecessary tests and surgery, as well as misguided treatment. He cites the frequently unindicated performance of surgery, such as tonsillectomy, appendectomy, gallbladder removal, hysterectomy, and termination of pregnancy, in which the risk of the operation may be greater than the risk of not performing it. Hazards faced by people seeking medical advice are "due more to errors of commission than to errors of omission." (KIE abstract)
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