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English: Nye Bevan in Cardiff Queen Street The...

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It’s weird that the government don’t have any, you know, facts and figures about the kinds of reforms it’s trying to introduce now. You know, the sorts there must be loads of, to show how much better it would be. The sort you’d want before undertaking a thorough restructuring of the whole system.

Surely there must be some sort of evidence from the last time an internal market was introduced (in an limited form) in 1991. Surely…

Oh wait! There is! Popper, Burgess & Gossage’s 2003 paper: Competition and Quality: Evidence from the NHS Internal Market 1991-1999.

Brilliant! This should put my mind at ease…

“We find the impact of competition is to reduce quality. Hospitals… in more competitive areas have higher death rates.”

…. Oh. Never mind, sure there’s some good news later…

“Death rates were higher in competitive areas in most years between 1992 and 1999.”

Really? But still, everyone’s living longer anyway, right?

“[T]he negative impact of competition in the more competitive areas more than offsets the positive impact of technological change.”

Oh poo. Please, please, please #savethenhs…

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