Analysis And Comment

Return of a system based on social values

BMJ 2006; 332 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.332.7532.44 (Published 05 January 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;332:44
  1. Dougal Jeffries, general practitioner (Dougal.Jeffries@ioshc.cornwall.nhs.uk)1
  1. 1 Health Centre, St Mary's, Isles of Scilly TR21 0HE

    Here at the Swampy Lowlands primary care centre, life in the year 2015 is pretty good. The spectacular downfall of the Blair government in 2008, followed by the unforeseen success of the subsequent Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition, has led to the reversal of several trends that had once seemed to be unstoppable. Money released through cancellation of the UK's nuclear weapons programme, more progressive taxation, and a hard won battle for massive public support for the founding principles of the NHS are bearing rich fruit.

    End of market forces

    The gradual incursion of private enterprise into the NHS has been slowed and, as the initial contracts come to term and are not renewed, is starting to be reversed. The resultant savings—it soon became apparent that the logic of the market and its need for shareholder profits were actually increasing costs to the NHS—have been ploughed back into public hospitals and clinics. Once again young doctors can be assured of high quality training posts, and morale within the system is recovering from its 2005 nadir. At the same time, lessons have been learnt, and a much more streamlined process based on …

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