Intended for healthcare professionals


Stumbling into rationing

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 09 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:936

A national debate on values is needed to sustain the NHS

  1. Richard Smith, editor
  1. BMJ

    Muddling through is the British way. While some countries may tackle a problem like the rationing of health care head on—admitting the problem at the highest level, analysing it, declaring their values, and beginning work on a just, transparent solution—the British deny the problem and nibble at its edges. Surely we can do better. This government, like the last, avoids the word rationing, but it knows that not everything can be done for everybody. So it has constructed machinery with Orwellian names—health improvement plans and the National Centre for …

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