Times letters: Tax rises, broken pledges and social care

(This article was published by The Times)


This letter first appeared in The Times

Sir, A country that chooses to fund its increasingly expensive healthcare system will inevitably be highly taxed. If it then chooses to fund its national social care system through the same mechanism it will inevitably be very highly taxed. It does not have to be this way: most other countries with far better outcomes than our NHS or social care system use a mixture of taxation and social insurance, the latter permitting an increased contribution from the individual.

Unless and until this country has a fundamental review of the social, fiscal and political basis of our health and social care system we will continue to fail our patients and citizens.

Professor Stephen K Smith, FMedSci

Former dean of medicine, Imperial College London; London W12


  1. Stephen Gwynne says

    Never really find the relevance of this argument. Social insurance is just taxation in another name.

    Or is the argument that people can choose the quality of their healthcare outcomes depending on their income and wealth ūü§Ē

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