Magazine article Public Finance

Lansley Calls for Free Market in NHS

Magazine article Public Finance

Lansley Calls for Free Market in NHS

Article excerpt

A future Conservative government should match Margaret Thatcher s enterprise revolution in industry, with a social enterprise revolution' in the public services, shadow health secretary Andrew Lansley told the party conference on October 4.

Lansley said: 'It is now crystal clear that Labour's topdown target-driven approach has failed and their half-baked plans for choice and the use of the private sector are divisive and confused.'

What was needed, he said, was a genuinely free market in which any private sector company could compete directly with the NHS.

Talking to Public Finance after his speech, Lansley said the government could not be trusted to introduce genuine competition into the NHS. He said: 'They talk about competition, but Patricia Hewitt was last week parading the fact that her strategy was to "nationalise the independent sector".'

'They're going to buy the contracts with the private sector, bring them into the NHS, and with many of those block contracts, the way they're structured would mean that they would in effect be able to turn into NHS-owned institutions after five years. …

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