Health: the Politicians Dilemma

Teeling Smith, G.

Series on Health
June 1986

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This paper from the Office of Health Economics contains some of the newer ideas which have been floated in order to tackle the economic problems urgently facing the National Health Service in 1986. It is postulated on the belief that the service not only needs additional public funds, but also needs to look at new economic principles in relation to its organisation. Above all there needs to be a better informed debate about the economics of health.

This paper does not contain definitive solutions. Rather it is a precursor to a discussion of the economic problems of health care in Britain from a variety of points of view. The Office of Health Economics intends to take an active part in this discussion in order to try to help to solve the problems which are described in this paper. It also hopes to stimulate economic experiments within Britain to test some of the new approaches which economists and others have recently suggested to try to tackle the urgent problems of the National Health Service.