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Stealth NHS

Assess the claim that the NHS is being privatised by stealth.
The National Health Service was set up in 1948 to provide healthcare for all citizens, based on need, not the ability to pay. It is made up of a wide range of health professionals, support workers and organisations.
The NHS claims to bring about the highest level of physical and mental health for all citizens, within the resources available. They claim to do this by, promoting health and preventing ill health; diagnosing and treating injury and disease; caring for those with a long-term illness and disability.
The NHS is predominantly funded by taxation, and the level of GNP devoted to health care is the lowest of any comparable developed country at 6.7% of GDP (NHS Support Federation 1999). Because the NHS is funded by the taxpayer, it is accountable to Parliament. It is managed by Department of Health – which is directly responsible to the secretary of state for health John Reid. The department sets overall health policy in England, is the headquarters for the NHS and is responsible for putting policy into practice. It also sets targets for the NHS and monitors performance through its four directors of health and social care. The NHS is one of the largest employers in Europe. It has more than a million staff working in over a thousand Trusts. Around one million people work for the NHS in England and it costs more than £60 billion a year to run, and the figure is rapidly rising annually.
In 2002, the socialist healthcare system which was ranked highest by the World Health Organisation was France. France combines a system of private and public hospitals. The French system has two obvious advantages over the discredited British system. Firstly, it encourages the growth of privately owned hospitals and consultancies in greater numbers than the British have. Secondly, it encourages a degree of competition and innovation as private hospitals compete with each othe…

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