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The Coalition’s NHS Reforms Are a Distraction

Deeper change to healthcare provision is needed

As the first GP-led clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) take charge of NHS budgets from today, the independent think tank Civitas said the reforms arising from the Health and Social Care Act were a distraction from the deeper change the health service needs.

Civitas is calling for more radical reform that breaks down the virtual state monopoly of healthcare while maintaining the principle of universal provision free at the point of need.

David Green, director of Civitas, said: “The reforms taking effect from today are a distraction that will not empower consumers or encourage diverse ownership to the extent required.

“The best way to raise standards and look after patient interests is to promote competition so that rival providers are compelled to raise their game.

“We all know as consumers that, unless we have alternatives, producer interests come to dominate.”

A recent ICM poll commissioned by Civitas showed that the vast majority of British people do not think it should matter who provides services as long as they are free at the point of need.

Presented with the statement, “It shouldn’t matter whether hospitals or surgeries are run by the government, not-for-profit organisations or the private sector, provided that everyone including the least well-off has access to care”, 83% agreed while only 14% disagreed. Of those, more than half – 56% – said they agreed strongly. Just 10% said they disagreed strongly.


ICM interviewed 1,002 British adults between March 8 and 10. Full details of the poll can be found here.



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