Competition in healthcare: Lessons from the UK’s experience


A central issue for health policy makers is maintaining or increasing quality while keeping costs under control. Introducing competition into healthcare may be one way of tackling this issue. Providing citizens with more choice in their healthcare options is a popular reform model adopted by many governments around the world. It’s also hotly debated. 

This paper scrutinizes the use of competition in healthcare. It examines what we can learn from the United Kingdom’s (UK’s) experience using competition and consumer choice in hospital services. The UK is a useful test bed because it has been a pioneer in opening up heavily regulated and centralized public services to competition.

Read it, and you’ll learn about the UK’s health policy reforms and the evidence of their impact including, changes in quality, productivity, and the distribution of healthcare resources across socio-economic groups.

Read as published in Health Economics, Policy and Law Volume 13, Special Issue 3-4 (SPECIAL ISSUE: Canadian Medicare: Historical Reflections, Future Directions)

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