Intended for healthcare professionals


Evidence not ideology

BMJ 2005; 331 doi: (Published 20 October 2005) Cite this as: BMJ 2005;331:964

The BMJ should take a position on the evidence about privatisation

  1. Allyson M Pollock, professor, health policy and health service research (
  1. School of Public Policy, University College London, London WC1H 9QU

    EDITOR—The argument is that the BMJ shouldn't have a position on the privatisation of health care and the NHS, but it should simply be a forum to allow the issues to be debated.1

    But neutrality on this issue is wrong. It means abdicating the responsibility of a scientific publication to weigh evidence and argument based on evidence. A very large accumulated body of evidence underpins the establishment and development of a publicly owned and operated health system in the UK, evidence that advocates of its abandonment have yet to supplant with valid evidence of their own.

    The fairest way of funding health services is through a progressive tax based system. The alternatives—social insurance …

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