Lansley has pulled off one of the profoundest reforms ever

Re: Lansley has pulled off one of the profoundest reforms ever

11 April 2012

Nigel Hawkes contrasts the public demonstrations against the abolition of fox hunting and student tuition fees with the absence of such public engagement against the Health and Social Care Bill. In both something was being taken away from a privileged subgroup of the population who were able to mobilise support for their outrage. The Health and Social Care Bill is unlikely to take much from the privileged in society. Creeping privatisation will increase inequity in health care - at the same time as increasing costs - but the section of society who will pay the price is not in position to register their complaint. Perhaps the Royal Colleges should have been more active in their representation of the interests of those not able to represent themselves. It is worth noting that when health care reforms have been attempted in the USA the public demonstration of outrage has been marked - led by those in positions of privilege.

Competing interests: None declared

Paul D.P. Pharoah, Reader in Cancer Epidemiology

University of Cambridge, Strangeways Research Laboratory, Worts Causeway, Cambridge, CB1 8RN

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