Intended for healthcare professionals


Clinical futures

BMJ 1998; 317 doi: (Published 05 December 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1542

Are as important to health policy as economic and social futures

  1. Marshall Marinker, Visiting professor of general practice,
  2. Michael Peckham, Director
  1. Guy's, King's and St Thomas's Hospitals Medical School, King's College, London SE11 6SP
  2. School of Public Policy, University College, London WC1H 9EZ

    Speculation about the future of medicine often centres on anticipated or imagined breakthroughs in science and technology and on the possible impact of these advances in preventing and treating disease. Yet much of the thinking about health policy has stemmed from the perspectives of political, social, economic, legal, and organisational theory. It is time to move the two closer together.

    This week sees the publication of a book of essays by a number of distinguished clinical investigators who were invited to take a freewheeling look at the likely trends in diagnosis and treatment over the coming decades.1 Our concern in undertaking this exercise was to redress a balance and to create a forum for the strategic thinking of clinicians and others engaged in pushing forward the boundaries of medical science and services.

    Doctors, and …

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