Regional health inequalities highlight a failing NHS

Mark Littlewood comments on the findings in the latest edition of the British Medical Journal

Commenting on the study published in the British Medical Journal that shows the north-south mortality difference is at its widest for 40 years, Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said that is further highlights the failure of the NHS to provide a adequate system of nationwide healthcare.

He said:

“This study punctures the final remaining justification for the NHS. The founding document for the NHS states that, ‘Poverty must be no bar to health’; but today’s study shows that it is.

“We already know that the NHS does badly, in relation to other systems in developed countries: for example, in terms of mortality rates, cancer survival rates, stroke outcomes and heart disease. But its sole selling point remained that it would provide equal health outcomes nationwide. Today’s study shows this to be untrue.

“Until we can move beyond our romanticised notion of the NHS, and the government has the vision and the courage to look towards other models of health provision, it is highly likely that health outcomes will continue to fall behind the rest of the developed world, and regional inequalities will become more entrenched.”

 

To arrange an interview with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director-General, please contact Nick Hayns,