The United Kingdom’s broken promises on health

Tony Kirby
Med J Aust 2013; 198 (1): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.11782
Published online: 21 January 2013

Tony Kirby suggests that the UK government should think twice before making promises on health in 2013

Before the current coalition government came to power in the United Kingdom in 2010, its dominating conservative partners promised that there would be no top-down reorganisation of the country’s National Health Service (NHS). Yet this same government is now steamrolling through what one leading UK doctor recently described as “the mother of all top-down reorganisations”.1 In response to the public outcry and opposition from just about every Royal Medical College nationwide, the government announced, in 2011, a “pause” in the progress of the Health and Social Care Bill, so it could “listen” to concerns. Prime Minister David Cameron reportedly told frustrated doctors and nurses: “We are taking this time to pause, to listen, to reflect and to improve our NHS modernisation plans. Let me be clear: this is a genuine chance to make a difference.”

  • Tony Kirby

  • * The Lancet Journals (2007–2012), London, UK.


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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