Doctors sceptical that new policy will greatly increase choice

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 15 December 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:1385
  1. Annabel Ferriman
  1. BMJ

    The health secretary, Alan Milburn, last week announced that he was going to introduce more patient choice into the health service by offering patients who had been waiting more than six months for heart surgery the chance to be treated in a hospital in the private sector or abroad.

    Unveiling the policy, which is to start in July 2002, he said: “We are publishing proposals that will for the first time give patients an explicit choice over where they are treated in the NHS.” All patients who had waited more than six months—not just patients needing heart surgery—would be included in the scheme by 2005. …

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