The editorial page in a leading newspaper stated today that private healthcare services won’t work.

They state that we do not have enough doctors and nurses.

What they are missing is the need for more capacity.  That is the key to productivity and outcomes.

Let’s take the case of an orthopedic surgeon.

He or she might have a list of patients for knee replacements or hip replacements. It might take 1 to 2 years to complete these cases.

The orthopedic surgeon needs operating room time and staff for the operating room and equipment. All are in short supply.

However, because of the lack of capacity, he/she might get 5 hours to 10 hours per week of operating room time.

If he/she had access to 30 hours of operating room time, then they would be moving through their list at 3x the speed.

If a knee prosthesis ( device) is expensive and the hospital budget is constrained, then they won’t rush to purchase more.

So, the editorial page was somewhat wrong in their conclusion. It is very easy to be critical of our broken system.

The real challenge is to accurately diagnose the problem and understand how to fix what is broken.