The National Health Service (NHS) is a state run entity set up by the Labour government after 1948 as part of the welfare state. It was originally run by local authorities with funding from public money allocated by central government. Though in recent years this money has been moving to the private sector and many have speculated that this is privatisation by stealth. In this essay I will attempt to understand this process by giving some historical context to the events of the last few decades while pointing out some of the advantages and disadvantages, and the forms it could take, of privatisation. In conclusion I hope to point to a future where the NHS can exist with public money and private management.
''It came out of a working class movement. The 'powers that be' introduced various health and welfare reforms after the Second World War in response to working class agitation and mobilisation梐 health system seemed a better option than a Russian revolution''1 This is a institution that does not fit easily into the world of market liberalisation and globalisation, but it is a right many people feel should be free and is even recognised by the U.N. as a fundamental human right. Selling off the NHS, as previous Tory governments have done to other parts of the U.K.s infrastructure ''...would be politically unacceptable especially given the general popularity of the NHS and its entrenched public nature.''2But reform and change have accrued. The first change, by the Tories in 1983, was in the way funding was allocated. ''For example, budgets where previously allocated on the basis of geographical areas' needs...Now funding is allocated as payment per patient...''3 This change allowed for the transfer of money from the public to the private sector. This can be seen in the provision of private long term care ''which grew from 175,000 places in 1985 to 650,000 in 1998. This growth was funded almost entirely out of the public purse''4 This has led to a system where...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document