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The political economy of health careWhere the NHS came from and where it could lead$
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Julian Tudor Hart

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427830

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427830.001.0001

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A space in which to learn

A space in which to learn

Chapter:
(p.168) (p.169) Seven A space in which to learn
Source:
The political economy of health care
Author(s):

Julian Tudor Hart

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847427830.003.0007

This book has provided evidence, derived from actual care processes, that commercial patterns, no matter how modified, are inappropriate for any health care system aiming to cover the whole lives of whole populations, at optimal efficiency. Health gain for whole populations cannot be produced efficiently as a by-product of investment for profit. Under present UK and EU company laws, wherever responsibility for service is contracted out to private sector providers, they subordinate the needs of society to commercial ambitions. A gift economy in health care is justified not only because it could be happier, more imaginative and more human, but because it would probably be more efficient. This book has also provided evidence that from 1948 until the early 1980s, when the NHS was allowed to pursue the needs of the whole population as then understood, people developed the beginnings of a new NHS gift economy.

Keywords:   health care system, health gain, commercial ambitions, UK, gift economy, NHS

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