Cost and quality

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 11 July 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:0

This week's journal addresses the eternal concerns of cost and quality. Those who run healthcare systems want high quality at low cost, and quality gurus tell them that the two can be had together. Those who work within healthcare systems are sceptical. Certainly cost is more easily measured than quality, so keeping costs down becomes the priority. The boards of NHS trusts have, for instance, long been concerned with cost but have had no mechanism to be concerned with quality, observes Richard Thompson in an editorial on the British government's proposals …

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