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Editor's blog 10th September 2008: Telegram Cam signals Tory policy shift

Publish Date/Time: 
09/10/2008 - 12:12

Telegram Cam: Conservative leader's unambiguous signal of new Tory health policy

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

Sunday is a 'good-bad' day for newspapers. The main political parties are all keen to use the Sundays to set the week's policy and political agenda.

Editor's blog 9th September 2008: new feature on Reform and Kings Fund papers

Publish Date/Time: 
09/09/2008 - 17:42

Have you finished building your ark yet? Global warming, my eye.

Just posted a new feature on the latest reports from Reform and the Kings Fund, which are respectively very flawed and very fascinating.

Insurance is back in vogue ...

Reforming the funding? It's an (in)sure thing

Publish Date/Time: 
09/09/2008 - 17:26

Reforming the funding? It's an (in)sure thing

by Andy Cowper, editor, Health Policy Insight

“For every problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat and wrong.” – H L Mencken

Local authorities responding to health petitions – Health Policy Today, 4 September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/04/2008 - 21:15

The magazine edited by David Walker, Public landed on my doormat this morning. An article on ‘engagement’ by local authorities caught my eye. The obligation to respond to petitions could lead to an expensive exercise that does nothing to engage.


September's menu – food and drugs, followed by arguments about the bill – Health Policy Today, 2 September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/02/2008 - 18:30

The Times today carries a new supplement – Agenda. Within it is a chart of forthcoming political events. In health terms, we are in for a month of political debate on food and drugs, followed by an argument about how to divide the bill.


On September the 17th, the Food Standards Agency board will meet in London. On its agenda will be a report on whether traffic lights symbols or guidance amount labels are the best way to inform health eating choices.

Editor's blog 1st September: Stumbling into topping up

Publish Date/Time: 
09/01/2008 - 17:02

Hello again. The past couple of weeks have been insanely busy with other work, hence my temporary absence from the parish. The estimable Tom Smith has been holding the fort with aplomb and putting my absence to shame. Thank you, Tom.

Gearing up for competition and building the barricades: GPs 'awkward position' - Health Policy Today, Monday 1st September 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
09/01/2008 - 17:15

August - the media's traditional 'silly season' - has been short on stories about GPs and polyclinics. Most of the month has been dominated by discussion of NICE and access to drugs, with the politics of food making an interesting appearance at the end of the month.

In September, these themes will continue and be joined by primary care finance and reform.


The Maynard Doctrine: time to "screw" the NHS?

Alan Maynard is professor of health economics, University of York

Monday 1 September 2008

Time to "screw" the NHS?

The Blair-Brown axis has increased the funding of the NHS in an unprecedented manner, with an additional £50 billion and total expenditure now of £105 billion. Soon we will be spending ten per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) on the NHS. What are we getting for our money?

Protestors have their say on financial management in the NHS - Health Policy Today, 28th August 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
08/28/2008 - 17:00

Amid reports of a surprise surplus for the NHS, many patients will be asking whether the money can be put toward new treatments, particular those patient protestors who locked themselves in to the NICE offices yesterday to complain about the rejection of drugs for advanced stage kidney cancer.


Political posturing on public health – Health Policy Today, 27th August 2008

Publish Date/Time: 
08/27/2008 - 17:15

Today’s headlines in advance of Andrew Lansley’s speech on obesity were along the lines of ‘Conservatives say there is no excuse for being fat’, but this masks a deeper political point.

In a wide-ranging speech, Lansley sought to put clear blue water between Conservative and Labour approaches. The problem is that the speech is being interpreted as a little too close to business interests.