Monday, April 24, 2006


Tim Worstall links to an article by Simon Jenkins which provides a brilliant history of exactly why the NHS is needing to go through so much painful reform now and exactly why the idea of Labour saving the NHS from the Conservatives was always a joke.

It also explains exactly why Mr Eugenides is having such trouble adjusting to Hewitt's analysis of the state of the National Health Service.

A few choice selections from the Jenkins article:

"Yet as a recent report for auditors KPMG by Rupert Darwall — a director of
the Reform think tank — has shown, Thatcher’s fundholding yielded a more
dramatic fall in waiting times than did Labour’s extravagance."

"When Blair came to office in 1997 he wrecked this structure out of sheer
political vengeance. His health secretary, Frank Dobson, dismantled fundholding
and the internal market and reduced the NHS to administrative chaos. "

"After a further doubling of health spending Blair has returned to where
Thatcher was in 1987, with fundholding, trust hospitals and internal markets.
This time he appears to mean it, but he will need to keep his nerve."

"GPs should go back to the arrangement before the war, under the wing of elected local health committees. They were cheap and they worked. There will be “postcode lottery” rows. But democratic accountability will be clear, as in Scandinavia, Germany and other countries where healthcare contrives to be better than ours yet is not “nationalised”. In Denmark just 5% of patients need treatment that cannot be supplied within the remit of their elected county health authority."

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