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| | |-+  911 services - should it be profit-driven?
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Author Topic: 911 services - should it be profit-driven?  (Read 1440 times)
Gustaf
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« on: May 26, 2011, 06:10:22 am »
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So, there has been a debate in Sweden recently about our version of 911 (112). It's contracted out to a for-profit company which is jointly owned by the state and local authorities.

There was a recent case though where a guy called for an ambulance saying he was in great pain and couldn't stand up. The nurse working at the company taking the calls suggested he was drunk and refused. After a lengthy conversation where the guy screamed he couldn't breathe and was dying, the nurse promised to get a doctor's opinion and then call back. There was no reply to the call-back so they investigated no further. The neighbours eventually found the guy dead (burst spleen, as I recall).

It has been alleged that employees at this company are pressured to not send out ambulances so as to cut costs and increase profits and there has been a fierce debate.

How does this work in other countries? Debate away. 
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Franzl
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 06:14:45 am »
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I've never thought about how this works, and to be honest, I don't know how it works in Germany.

Doesn't really sound like something that should be in private hands, though.
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 06:18:10 am »
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The example you posted already gives the answer. Of course public services providing basic needs (rescue, health, education) should never be profit-driven.
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 06:23:12 am »
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The example you posted already gives the answer. Of course public services providing basic needs (rescue, health, education) should never be profit-driven.

Or at least there needs to be a "public option" Wink Don't eliminate private competition and I'm on your side..

Of course, in this case, there's no need to make the 911 service profit driven.
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Antonio V
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 06:32:58 am »
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The example you posted already gives the answer. Of course public services providing basic needs (rescue, health, education) should never be profit-driven.

Or at least there needs to be a "public option" Wink Don't eliminate private competition and I'm on your side..

Of course, in this case, there's no need to make the 911 service profit driven.

Oh, if you hold on it, no problem. That's not like any company could be viable against a non-profit public service anyways.
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 07:10:17 am »
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Oh, if you hold on it, no problem. That's not like any company could be viable against a non-profit public service anyways.

Oh I disagree. I find my private health insurance much more appealing than any of the public non-profit "Kassen" that Germany has to offer.
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Antonio V
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2011, 07:30:16 am »
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Oh, if you hold on it, no problem. That's not like any company could be viable against a non-profit public service anyways.

Oh I disagree. I find my private health insurance much more appealing than any of the public non-profit "Kassen" that Germany has to offer.

Does it provide more services than the standard public health insurance ? In this case, of course it's better (for those who can afford it).
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2011, 07:48:44 am »
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Oh, if you hold on it, no problem. That's not like any company could be viable against a non-profit public service anyways.

Oh I disagree. I find my private health insurance much more appealing than any of the public non-profit "Kassen" that Germany has to offer.

Does it provide more services than the standard public health insurance ? In this case, of course it's better (for those who can afford it).

Depending on income levels, it's possible that the better quality private insurance in Germany can be a good deal cheaper than the public fees, actually, because the public fees are based on a percentage of income unrelated to risk calculations that insurance companies naturally use. (Or in my case, as my Dad's a state employee that gets 45% coverage from the State of Hesse...(and isn't allowed to be a member of the public system, as far as I know), the insurance is a much better deal than anything the state offers.

At any rate, it's a very good thing that it exists and doesn't allow the state a monopoly. There always needs to be a way to freedom should the state not be able to fulfill its obligations to everyone's satisfaction.

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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2011, 08:15:54 am »
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Ideally almost nothing to do with healthcare should be profit driven. Especially rescue, emergency care and other such things.

In the US when you call 911 you may get slammed with a bill the insurance company won't pay for whatever reason. The last excuse my insurer used was that the ambulance had some kind of advanced life support technician and this wasn't covered under the plan. Since my father was dying we didn't bother to think about costs, but now this bill is bouncing around, even though no one asked for this added service. The for profit system presents so many opportunities for abuse, they're innumerable. I hate to think people out there are dying rather than getting the help they need just because no one can make money off of them.
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2011, 08:31:50 am »
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I hate to think people out there are dying rather than getting the help they need just because no one can make money off of them.

So do I.  The problem is the frequent flyers who call for an ambulance ride for anything.  My Dad works as a firefighter and he gets calls over the radio about cuts and bruises.  Around here people will call ambulances because they don't have a car to get to the doctors or because they're older and can't wait for that next doctor's appointment.  The problem here is that those who need it are burdened with costs from those who abuse it.
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« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 11:10:39 am »
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A private health service? LOL, y'high?
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« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 12:26:23 pm »
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The example you posted already gives the answer. Of course public services providing basic needs (rescue, health, education) should never be profit-driven.

There's nothing wrong with providing a profit motive, assuming that you pick the right motives.  Having an economic incentive to not send an ambulance is obviously not the right motive.
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« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 04:20:19 pm »
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Wtf? No, of course not. What is wrong with you people.
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« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 08:24:36 pm »
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A private health service? LOL, y'high?

^^^
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« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 09:01:32 pm »
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The example you posted already gives the answer. Of course public services providing basic needs (rescue, health, education) should never be profit-driven.
This answer would be the correct one if the kind of situation in the OP didn't happen at "regular" 911 call centers too.  If you have people involved in the system, you are going to occasionally get mess ups like this.  Some people are stupid, some are ignorant and some are giant asshats and all of us make mistakes.  link to a Readers Digest story on 911 calls gone wrong

(I'm not saying a I support a privatized 911 system, just that the evidence in the OP isn't enough to prove one system better or worse than the other)
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« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2011, 10:54:31 pm »
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I really don't see the profit in this. Is it subscription based?
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« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2011, 02:19:54 am »
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Yes and no.

You should be heavily fined on the spot for a fake call though.
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Gustaf
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« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2011, 03:28:58 am »
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I really don't see the profit in this. Is it subscription based?

I'm not sure, to be honest. I'm pretty sure that you don't pay anything as a patient though (for calling, say, an ambulance). I think they get revenue based on something that leaves room for profiting by cutting costs, basically.
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