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NHS services not improving as fast as investment, conference told

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 27 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1250
  1. Colleen Shannon
  1. London

    Britain's spending on health care is catching up with that of other industrialised nations, but simply throwing more tax money at the NHS will never improve services enough, a delegates at a conference on healthcare funding held last week in London were told. Greater use of the private sector–and more contributions from patients themselves–could be part of the answer.

    In 2000 the prime minister, Tony Blair, promised to increase Britain's historically low spending on health care and match European levels of 8% of the gross domestic product within five years. Since then, “new” Labour has gone further and pledged that healthcare spending will reach 9.4% of the gross domestic product by 2007.

    Latest available figures showed that the government was doing well on this promise. Healthcare spending as a proportion …

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