Look abroad for serious solutions to the NHS crisis

Demonstrators display placards as they march past in South-East London on January 26, 2013 Credit: LEON NEAL 

The NHS is not working. Official figures released this week show the worst A&E performance in England for 14 years. Norovirus cases rose by almost a third. Flu cases threaten an epidemic. The Government insists that the NHS has been better prepared “than ever” for winter – and, if that is technically true, the fact that it is still doing so badly indicates that the health service’s problems are bigger than one  funding round can fix.

The Left insists that all that’s needed is more money, and some on the Right have embraced the idea of a hypothecated tax – perhaps replacing national insurance with national health insurance – that pays specifically for health and social care. But that amounts to a rebranding exercise to justify an inevitable tax hike, asking voters to pay more for a system that remains unreformed. The long‑-term problem is that while the NHS was created for a smaller, younger...

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