NHS system requires wholesale reform, not simply more cash


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Commenting on calls for tax rises to pay for the NHS, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“How much more tax are the British public expected to pay to cover up for a fundamentally broken healthcare system? Even if public spending on the NHS were to increase to the levels recommended by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, it would still be the sick system of Europe, ranking in the bottom third of international comparisons for health system performance.

There is a reason why the patient outcomes on the NHS are more comparable to the Czech Republic than they are to Germany or Switzerland, and the answer is not simply that they receive more funding. While western European countries have adapted their systems to put patient care at their core, Britain has refused to let go of its centralised, top-down approach to healthcare.

“As a result, the UK continues to fall far behind its neighbours in critical areas, including cancer and stroke survival rates.

“While there may be a case for investing more money into the NHS, it must not go into a system that prioritises bureaucrats over patients. As the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, healthcare funding should be one part of a much wider shake up that involves restructuring the NHS to meet the needs of patients in 2018 – not 1948.”

Notes to editors:

For media enquiries please contact Stephanie Lis, Communications Officer: [email protected] or 0207 799 8920 or 07791 390 268

For more on the IEA’s work on healthcare spending & reform, click here.

The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems and seeks to provide analysis in order to improve the public understanding of economics.

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Further IEA Reading: Universal healthcare without the NHS