Intended for healthcare professionals


Cameron defends moving NHS “from closed markets to open systems”

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 18 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d363
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

The prime minister, David Cameron, this week defended the government’s controversial reorganisation of the NHS, saying that his mission in restructuring public services was to bring “the promise of opportunity, fairness, and excellence for all.”

Speaking on 17 January at the Royal Society of Arts, two days ahead of the publication of the Health and Social Care Bill, which will put GPs in charge of 80% of the NHS budget, Mr Cameron said that the country “can’t afford not to modernise” and that the coalition government “has a once in a lifetime opportunity to transform our public services.”

Modernisation meant going further than any previous government had dared, he said, to eliminate entrenched inefficiencies and “opening up the system, being competitive, and cutting out waste and bureaucracy.”

Mr Cameron admitted …

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