Coalition health reforms will spell the end for the NHS and lead to U.S. style system, claim researchers.
'Prof Allyson Pollock, from the Barts and The London School of Medicine, and David Price, senior research fellow at its Centre for Health Sciences, write in a paper published on BMJ.com that the legislation “amounts to the abolition of the English NHS as a universal, comprehensive, publicly accountable, tax funded service, free at the point of delivery”. They say the Government “has repealed the health secretary’s duty to provide or secure the provision of comprehensive care” in order to create a commercial market in care. Instead, under the new system the state "finances but does not provide healthcare", in “equivalent to Medicare and Medicaid schemes in the US”'. Meanwhile, Dr Kim Price, claims 'the UK coalition government's planned NHS and welfare reforms, and their use of 'nudge' theory, hark back to ideas on welfare and recession from the end of the nineteenth century
, according to studies by a University of Leicester historian whose research paper has recently been published in the Lancet'.
In his paper in the Lancet, Dr Price argues that the UK's Coalition Government has begun to tackle the annual deficit with the language and policy aims from the recession of 1870.
In the late 19th century the Conservatives instigated a policy to cut back welfare expenditure and lessen reliance on poor law out-relief. This included cutting medical extras and payments to lone mothers, widows, the elderly, the chronically sick, and people who were disabled or had mental illness.
The result, Dr Price believes, lowered the health of many families and increased the number of people who could no longer be supported at home.
Dependency was criticised by both government and ratepayers, until by the 1880s the Victorian obsession with thrift and self-help had taken hold throughout the voting classes. Philanthropy and charity, however, could not compensate for government aid, and institutional care drove up national expenditure.