Intended for healthcare professionals


Getting a prime minister to turn: roast slowly and then turn up the heat suddenly

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 22 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:a

Earlier this week the British prime minister, Tony Blair, pledged on live television that he would increase expenditure on the NHS from the present 6.8% of gross national product to the European average of 8%(p 205). That would mean another $9bn a year for the service, an increase of about 17.5%. Why did he do this? Was he suddenly convinced by the arguments that the BMA and other health organisations have been advancing for 20 years? Of course not. He did it because his spin doctors—those …

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