Why should health services be primary care-led?
A primary care-led health service is the latest fashion in health policy, yet there is no consensus on what this means. One manifestation of this policy is the attempt to shift the balance of resources from secondary to primary care, with the goal of improving the cost-effectiveness of health care. This has been taken furthest in the UK, where GP fundholders have been given resources to purchase a significant proportion of their patients' health care. The scheme provides incentives to shift the location of care out of hospitals, but there is very little evidence that this will result in better quality patient care at lower cost.