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Private Health Care

Volume 13: debated on Monday 23 November 1981

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services, in view of his article in the first issue of The Times Health Supplement, how he expects the private sector to relieve pressure upon the National Health Service; how he expects the National Health Service in consequence to improve its service for everyone, including those who can afford only the latter; and how the private sector can act as a stimulus to improving the National Health Service standards.

The private sector draws on sources of finance outside the NHS and increases the total volume of health care resources available. This should help the NHS to concentrate resources on services which are under pressure to the benefit of people who need those services. Insistence upon provision solely by the State would mean less health care is available overall. The private sector can also help to improve NHS services by its example of cost consciousness and by demonstrating different ways of doing things against which the NHS can test its own practice and procedures.