September 10, 2008

Nick Clegg on the NHS

Nick Clegg has a good article on the, poor, state of the NHS and why it is like it is.

There are two basic, structural problems with their NHS: it is too massive and centrally controlled; and because of that centralised system, we have a second basic problem, that the financial incentives all pull in the wrong direction.

To which he offers a very Liberal solution.

The basis of my approach is to make the NHS a people's health service, with resources controlled from below, not from the top down. We want to replace centrally-set targets with personal entitlements like the ones you get in an insurance contract. Everyone should have the right to private treatment, paid for by the NHS, if the waiting time is not met.

To give patients more control over their care, we would extend direct payments and personal budgets – so people with long-term and chronic conditions choose what care they need.

I also believe top-up payments should be possible within the NHS.

All great stuff, but not exactly what is going to help him pick up votes fleeing from Labour.


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