If the National Health Service in the UK was like any other market, and I am not saying it should be, which segment would be the most profitable? I hear people saying the “low handling fruit” will be picked off by the private sector if competition is allowed in the NHS… what does that mean? It suggests that some segments carry more costs than others perhaps. Here are my thoughts:
The Big Acute Hospital – my guess is that this is least profitable, unpredictable flows, lots of expensive things to resource at short notice.
The Community Hospital – perhaps more predictable activity, much of it could be be done in the “customers” home, plenty of scope for reengineering but aging population may increase costs in the mid term.
The Mental Health Trust – people based consultancy, probably very predictable and long term activity, no need for expensive kit or buildings. My pick for the best segment to be in. Able to expand into to others areas of care at the cost to the community and acute segment…drug rehab etc.
The Primary Care Practice – could be a smart choice, but size is probably important and there is threats from others to vertically integrate you into their value chain. May get fully privatised and pushed into regional groups so could become a lot like Burger King…doing the same thing over and over again at tight margins.
Not that this makes any sense, we are never going to do this right!