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Views & Reviews If I Ruled the NHS

I would scrap the internal market

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 02 January 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:g7762
  1. Steven Ford, retired general practitioner, Haydon Bridge, Northumberland
  1. mail{at}

Patients are, or should be, the sole reason for the existence of healthcare, and every patient matters equally. Ameliorating the fear of illness, injury, suffering, and death, by considering the full spectrum of physical, psychological, and social dimensions, is, or should be, the sole focus.

Every citizen has a duty to use the NHS responsibly and to take personal responsibility for their own health.

Healthcare, correctly delivered, is not and never can be a commercial undertaking. All diversion of resources (profits, dividends, bonuses, transaction costs, and so forth) represents treatment denied and is, self evidently, directly harmful to patients and injurious to the public realm and the common good. Patients must receive …

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