2nd edition of Resourceful Patient. The 50 years of growth that we have experienced has produced a wonderful change in the health of both individuals and populations and we need more innovation to continue reducing mortality and reducing the years of life impaired by disability. However we also need to treat patients and citizens as equal partners in the challenges we face as need will grow faster than the resources available and the need to reduce carbon will become at least as pressing as the need to live within a financial budget that does not increase from year to year. We need to reduce harm and inequity and to maximise value from the resources available by reducing waste.
All of this requires us to work together. For the last 50 years we have tried both bureaucracy and the market as means of managing the challenges faced by healthcare. Both are necessary but neither is sufficient, alone in partnership. A better model is the ant colony, ‘a Superorganism’, in which individuals work together and make sacrifices for the common good.