Labour and Conservatives draw up battle lines on NHS

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: (Published 20 April 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:935
  1. Lynn Eaton
  1. London

    Britain's Labour government and the Conservative opposition party this week outlined their radically different approaches to the future funding of the NHS—with the government backing higher spending financed through public funding and the Conservatives favouring a social insurance based scheme.

    On the eve of Chancellor Gordon Brown's budget speech on Wednesday, the Conservative leader, Iain Duncan Smith, produced a report supporting a healthcare system funded through social insurance—where employer and employee pay towards a compulsory health insurance plan—rather than a system funded through general taxation.

    The policy shift by the Conservatives came as it became clear that the chancellor of the exchequer would make a radical move on NHS funding, announcing extra resources for the service on top …

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