Rationale for reform is flawed, King's Fund says

The government's reasoning for the reforms could be flawed as the UK's health outcomes are not as poor as suggested, the King's Fund's chief economist believes.

Mr Appleby: trends suggest health outcomes in the UK are improving
Mr Appleby: trends suggest health outcomes in the UK are improving

Writing in the BMJ, John Appleby challenged the government’s view that the NHS reforms are needed because the country’s health outcomes are among the poorest in Europe.

He said trends suggest health outcomes in the UK are improving and warned that comparing health outcomes across countries is complex.

Mr Appelby said: ‘It has been claimed that despite spending the same on health care, we suffer twice the rate of deaths from heart disease than France.

‘The latter is true, but what this claim doesn’t show is that the UK has actually had the largest fall in heart attack deaths between 1980 and 2006 of any European country.’

If trends over the past thirty years continue, the UK will have a lower death rate than France by 2012, he said. He also said that UK cancer outcomes are improving, although comparisons are not straightforward.

Mr Appleby said: ‘Comparing health outcomes across countries is complex and not simply down to healthcare spending, but these trends must challenge one of the government’s key justifications for reforming the NHS.’

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus