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February 5, 1997

Reviving Primary Care: A US-UK Comparison

Author Affiliations

University of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health

JAMA. 1997;277(5):424. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03540290076036

Health Systems

This book deserves your consideration because of its important message. Whether you need to read it depends on how much you already know about the topic, how tolerant you can be of the book's idiosyncrasies, and your underlying values.

The central message is that the United States spends far too much on medical care, given what other countries spend and what our outcomes appear to be. The solution proposed by the authors is to strengthen primary care, which will lead to a more cost-effective health care system.

There is little question that the United States spends more on medical care as documented by these authors and many who preceded them. Whether we spend too much given the outcomes is a much more complicated issue.

The book's focus is on a comparison of the United Kingdom (UK) and US health care systems, emphasizing their approaches to primary care. The