An Evening Panel Discussion: Should we abolish the NHS?


  • 13/06/2012
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The coalition government has announced significant cuts in public spending without reviewing radically the functions that government should undertake. It is now clear that further cuts may be necessary to get the economy back on track, as well as being desirable in order to reduce the role of government in the economy. Furthermore, radical reform in areas such as health and education may well be desirable in order to improve service provision and efficiency in the long term.

The purpose of this panel discussion is to discuss the appropriate role of the state in the provision and finance of health care. Panellists will seek to answer the question of whether there should be radical health reform and, if so, what form it should take. Some panellists may prefer evolutionary reform, others may prefer a system of health provision where the state provides finance and the consumer is put in charge. Still others may go further – as suggested in the IEA book, Sharper Axes, Lower Taxes – and make citizens at least partially responsible for financing their own health care. The panellists will go on to consider what precisely the legitimate role of government in these sectors should be.

Panellists include:

Dr Stephen Davies, Education Director, IEA;

Prof Julian Le Grand, Richard Titmuss Professor of Health Policy, LSE Health;

Matthew Sinclair, Director, The TaxPayers’ Alliance

Julia Manning, Chief Executive of 2020health; and

Chris Skidmore, Conservative MP for Kingswood

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