Shopping for healthcare
Do medical students need to be trained in commissioning?
- By: Rebecca Ghani
Did you ever envision that shopping might be a key part of your professional career? Core skills: clinical acumen, scientific knowledge, communication style, surgical skills, research methods, and . . . shopping? Or, to give it its correct title: commissioning.
Clinical commissioning is the management and spending of healthcare budgets, usually allocated by central government. The budget is used to purchase medicines, medical devices, and healthcare services from various providers.
Commissioning in healthcare has always been a highly debated issue, and in the UK, a hot political issue, with the major parties having opposing ideological approaches to the best way to procure healthcare. The Labour party advocates the use of NHS services in preference to private providers; budget management by business managers; and national checks and drivers to improve quality. The Conservative party advocates - and has implemented - handing budgets over to GPs; allocating NHS contracts to “any willing