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Healthcare in the UKUnderstanding continuity and change$
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Ian Greener

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781861346094

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781861346094.001.0001

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Health policy under Labour

Health policy under Labour

(p.208) (p.209) Nine Health policy under Labour
Healthcare in the UK

Ian Greener

Policy Press

This chapter examines the health policy in Great Britain under former Prime Minister Tony Blair's government from 1997 to 2007. It suggests that the Labour Party's approach to the NHS was conciliatory and cautious. Labour abolished general practitioner (GP) fundholding, retained the internal market but recasted contracts on to a longer-term basis in the name of cutting bureaucracy. That government also made use of private and not-for-profit health providers to introduce competitive forces into the NHS. A sympathetic interpretation of Labour's approach is that it has come to represent a process of creative destruction in which the government has realised that the only way to reform an organisation such as the NHS is continually to change its structures and systems.

Keywords:   health policy, Tony Blair, Labour Party, Great Britain, NHS, GP fundholding, internal market, bureaucracy, private health providers, competition

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