Intended for healthcare professionals

Analysis And Comment

Democratic control is essential

BMJ 2006; 333 doi: (Published 27 July 2006) Cite this as: BMJ 2006;333:251
  1. Stephen Thornton (, chief executive1
  1. 1 The Health Foundation, London WC2E 9RA

    If healthcare had been deemed too important to leave to the politicians, as advocated by Fiona Godlee,1 we would never have had a National Health Service. Its birth was a deeply controversial political act. Just because we happen to be living through a period of political consensus which believes that healthcare should be tax funded, free at the point of use, and available for all regardless of the ability to pay, it doesn't mean it was ever thus or will be in the future. A recent visit to the United States brought powerfully home to me what happens in a society where healthcare is not viewed as a right for all citizens. …

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