Death knell sounds for cradle to grave service

Is Cameron about to realise Margaret Thatcher's dream and abandon universal healthcare provision?

Kailash Chand
17 May 2013

I started my career in the National Health Service almost at the same time as Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister in 1979. I saw her preside over chronic staff shortages, rocketing waiting lists, and the closures of wards and hospitals. I also witnessed first hand the beginning of the politics of dismantling the NHS and abandoning the principle of universal healthcare.

Thatcher repeatedly looked at replacing the NHS with a health insurance system, but each time was told that such a move would raise costs and be politically suicidal. She managed to introduce the internal market – doubling administration costs – and promote widespread contracting out of support services. But it was in fact under Blair and Brown that engagement with competition, market structures and supplier diversity grew, though the NHS was still identified as the preferred provider of healthcare.

Ultimately, Thatcher failed to realise her vision of ending the NHS as a publicly provided, publicly financed body. But it appears that David Cameron is about to fulfill it for her.

Read my full article which first appeared in Tribune, here.

Book: The Sex Lives of African Women

Join Black feminist author Nana Darkoa Sekyiamah to talk about her book 'The Sex Lives of African Women' in which she features the stories of more than 30 women giving us rare insights into how they navigate, negotiate and enjoy sex, sexuality and relationships across generations and borders.

Among them are monogamous, polyamorous, kinky, queer, transgender and celibate stories. Nana will be joined by the African feminist writer and editor Rosebell Kagumire – who reviewed the book for openDemocracy. More speakers TBC.

Join us on 5 August 2021 at 5pm UK time/12pm EDT for a free, live discussion as we explore this topic with an expert panel

Had enough of ‘alternative facts’? openDemocracy is different Join the conversation: get our weekly email


We encourage anyone to comment, please consult the oD commenting guidelines if you have any questions.
Audio available Bookmark Check Language Close Comments Download Facebook Link Email Newsletter Newsletter Play Print Share Twitter Youtube Search Instagram WhatsApp yourData