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17-04-2011 | General practice | Article

Will the market improve the NHS?

One of the most contentious aspects of the government's Health and Social Care Bill is the increased emphasis on competition, with the introduction of 'any willing provider' of services and Monitor as a competition regulator.

Proponents argue that opening up the health service to market incentives is about aligning clinical and financial accountability - and that this is the best way to drive improvements in outcomes and increase responsiveness to patients' needs.

But mounting opposition to the Bill from doctors' bodies including the RCGP and the BMA, as well as from MPs, unions and campaigning groups is largely based on concern that market-style reform will fragment services and undermine the ethos of the NHS in England as an equitable and comprehensive service that is free at the point of delivery.

GP News asked two GPs from either side of the fence to give their views on the controversy, to hear what they believe the motivations behind the reforms are - and what the consequences will be.

Click here to read the article

By Caroline Price