©Am Ang Zhang 2011
Professor Allyson Pollock:
Since 1948 the government has had a duty to provide comprehensive healthcare free at the point of delivery. This duty is underpinned by structures, systems, and mechanisms that promote fairness and efficiency in resource allocation and facilitate planning of services according to geographical healthcare needs through risk pooling and service integration. These mechanisms have been eroded by a succession of major regulatory changes, including revision of funding and responsibility for provision of long term care; creation of an internal market; introduction of private providers and capital through the private finance initiative, independent treatment centres, foundation trusts, and the 2004 general practice contract; and creation of a tariff system of payment for providers.5 We examine the proposed statutory protections of the duty to promote and provide comprehensive care in the bill.
Read the full account here >>>> Abolish NHS: Allyson Pollock BMJ 2011
As we struggle to prevent a misguided Secretary of State for Health from progressing his malign Health and Social Care Bill, it is worth reflecting on Titmuss's comments on the ethics and economics of medical care: “I happen to believe”, he says, “that the conflict between professional ethics and economic man should be reduced as far as humanly possible.” It is my contention that nobody should be allowed to dismantle the NHS if they have not read, understood, and digested the writings of Titmuss and his colleagues. As we stand on the verge of possibly irreversible damage to one of the hallmarks of what it is to live in a civilised country, it is time to rise up and defend an institution that was built by our parents and our grandparents and which we owe to our children and our grandchildren to maintain and to pass on to them and to their guardianship.