Can a Strong Economic Case Be Made for Investing in the NHS? 25th Annual Lecture Publication

In September 2018, Professor Peter Smith delivered the 25th OHE Annual Lecture: Can a Strong Economic Case Be Made for Investing in the NHS? The lecture is now available as a publication, which can be downloaded for free.

Debate about funding has highlighted the difficulty of persuading sceptics that the NHS is a good use of public finance. There is a widely held view – particularly in finance ministries and some sections of the media – that health systems such as the NHS are ‘black holes’, constantly demanding increased funding without concomitant returns to society.

In the 2018 OHE Annual Lecture, Professor Peter Smith argued that an economic case can be made for investment in the NHS. But it is not straightforward and will involve changes in the way the NHS thinks about itself. The NHS must show how it can promote the government's macroeconomic objectives, including sustainable public finances; a stable economy and financial system; structural reforms to increase employment, productivity, growth, and international competitiveness; and supporting societal wellbeing.

In responding to the scepticism about the value of health spending, serious reconsideration needs to be given to NHS priorities and approaches. The terms of the debate need to be based more accurately on a better understanding of what the health sector actually produces. The publication concludes with a set of recommendations and messages for the NHS: for policy, for service delivery, and for regulators.

Click here to download the Monograph.

Citation

Smith, P., 2018. Can a Strong Economic Case Be Made for Investing in the NHS? 25th Annual Lecture. OHE Monograph.

Related research

Timmins, N., 2018. Securing Funds for the Proposed NHS Multi-year Funding: The Feasibility of Using a Hypothecated Tax. OHE Seminar Briefing. RePEc.

Posted in Health Care Systems, Other Public Policy | Tagged Monograph