Review of NHS spending begins

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: (Published 21 June 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:1781
  1. John Warden, parliamentary correspondent
  1. BMJ

    A fundamental review of NHS spending over the next four years, announced last week, has produced a flurry of speculation about patients being charged for treatment or home visits by family doctors.

    Incredulity that such moves could be contemplated by the Labour government was strengthened by the refusal of the health secretary, Frank Dobson, to rule anything out.

    The speculation stemmed from a Commons statement by the chief secretary to the Treasury, Alastair Darling, on a comprehensive review of all government spending. He said that every government department would scrutinise its spending plans in detail from a zero base and ask, “How does …

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