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Thursday 19th April 2018

Scrap NHS and 'allow competition'

17th September 2007

In the Telegraph, Professor Willem Buiter and Professor Anne Sibert say now is the time to explore alternatives to the health service and establish a fairer system.


The assertion that the NHS in the UK is "fair...accessible" and one of the leading systems in the world is incorrect. In addition, the idea that it provides "good value for money" is false.

Bureaucracy ensures the health service functions to satisfy political machinations. Patients are given little chance to protest against the standard of treatment they receive.

Healthcare needs to be accessible by everyone. However, the ideas upon which the health service was founded - "universal healthcare financed entirely out of tax revenues and free provision at the point of delivery" - are out of date.

At the moment, the quality of care in the health service is determined by "education, intelligence and connections". Better and fairer ways to allocate care must be found.

The NHS should be scrapped. In its place should be a healthcare system which offers everyone access to the same high quality treatment.

An expert committee could set out the "benchmark standard of healthcare" with an insurance plan drawn up by the government. Insurance plans could be offered as part of a competitive market, with the government providing funds for people unable to pay.

People who can afford to pay for their own treatment should be expected to do so "at the point of delivery". A better system would fund costs through insurance payments and a small regulated percentage payment for most services.

Less than two extra "percentage points of GDP" have been used to make improvements to the health service in the last five years. This is clearly "poor value for money".

In conclusion, the "oversight and regulation" of health care should not be connected with politics. Although how much is allocated to healthcare systems has to remain in the hands of the government, how these funds are deployed should be decided by an expert committee.

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