Intended for healthcare professionals


More widespread public debate on rationing is essential

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 15 November 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1305
  1. Iona Heath, General practitioner,
  2. Stephen Amiel, General practitioner
  1. a Caversham Group Practice, Kentish Town Health Centre, London NW5 2AJ

    Editor—We find it significant that none of the clinicians who contributed to the conference “Rationing in the NHS: Time to Get Real” signed the open letter to Frank Dobson.1 In the letter, rationing is defined as occurring when not all health services can be provided to everybody who might benefit from them, a definition so broad that it can be said always to have existed. Yet most British clinicians would not recognise the examples given as rationing. A …

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