Here is what the British are saying about their system. The Guardian Newspaper is saying that their demand for healthcare is outpacing their supply of physicians. The paper is outlining how because of the costs of services the physicians have not received a real net income raise since 2004. Why haven't these contracts changed much? Because the physicians are overwhelmed with patients.
In Economic Theory when there are artificial price caps placed on services a shortage will occur. According to the Fraser Institute a Canadian think tank it goes like this:
Requiring patients to wait for medical services is the primary way that access to a scarce resource, in this case physicians’ services, is rationed in most countries characterized by a publicly funded, universally accessible health insurance system. Conversely, in most markets for goods and services, price is the instrument by which the quantity demanded for the good or service in question is equated to quantity supplied. Thus, if demand exceeds supply at a given price, competition among buyers will lead to a rising price. This, in turn, will encourage an increase in the quantity supplied of the good or service, as well as a decrease in the quantity demanded. Price will keep rising until quantity demanded equals the available quantity supplied. The dynamic will work in the opposite direction if supply exceeds demand at a given price. That is, price will decline until the quantities supplied and demanded are equal. (Globerman 2013)
I think that the tradeoff is okay for more serious conditions that most cannot afford where you will be waiting anyways. But, when it comes to primary care and outpatient surgeries, I almost think the price point is more efficient or in other words a privatized system. The article then expounds on what happens as a result of waiting on healthcare and the individual costs from pages 45 -61. One particular scenario stood out when the author talked about people with appendix issues. The conclusion of the author was that the US has better access and quality of care even at the poorest levels than those in affluent circumstances in Canada. (Globerman, 2013)