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Friend of Tortoise Exclusive

Is the NHS overrated?

Is the NHS overrated?

This event is exclusive to Friends of Tortoise

This is a digital-only ThinkIn.

There’s a strong case to be made that the NHS is one of the most inefficient and overrated healthcare systems in the world. Its heart is in the right place, and its core principles are laudable and beyond criticism, but its management and delivery are another story. Governments don’t have a great track record at running organisations, and certainly not complicated healthcare systems. The NHS is one of the largest employers in the world, with a workforce of 1.3 million, but it’s also a political football. In 73 years of the NHS, it’s been overseen by 31 Health Secretaries since Aneurin Bevan, many of whom instigated their own reforms, overhauls and transformation projects with varying degrees of failure. Is our obsession with the NHS as a national institution blinding us to how it needs to change? Are privatised elements of the health service really such a bad idea? And when it comes to modernising the NHS, where do you even start?

editor and invited experts

Matthew d’Ancona

Andy Cowper
Editor, Health Policy Insight

Dr Agnes Arnold-Forster
Writer, researcher and healthcare historian.

Sally Warren
Director of Policy, The King’s Fund