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The NHS works

The complaint of "marketisation" in the NHS is incoherent. The Blairite solution of giving patients the choice of publicly or privately provided care is helping to deliver the old Labour dream of reducing demand for privately funded care. But the NHS must earn the support of each new generation

By Simon Stevens   February 2005

Medicine has never been in better shape. Its scientific rigour and patient benefits have both improved dramatically in the last 30 years. Yet this truth is obscured by the nihilism and venality of journalists, politicians, lawyers, patients and just about everyone else. In consequence, we risk alienating the medical professionals whose sense of vocation is central to a well-functioning health service, thereby making predictions of crisis self-fulfilling. Politicians should hand over the money and let the practitioners get on with it.

So argues Raymond Tallis, professor of geriatric medicine at Manchester University in Hippocratic Oaths: Medicine and its Discontents (Atlantic…

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