New ambitions for the NHS

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 16 November 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:1225

Britain's long term commitment to a state funded health service of steadily rising quality was reaffirmed this week in a government white paper on the future of the NHS, A Service with Ambitions. It projects the reforms of the past five years into specified areas of development, including multiprofessional working and information technology.

By rededicating the NHS as a public service available to all citizens on the basis of clinical need, regardless of ability to pay, the paper pre-empts election year attacks on the ruling Conservative government's adherence to that founding principle. It asserts that achieving higher standards all round in the NHS is realistic and affordable, despite …

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