The National Health Service (NHS) in England is undergoing its most far-reaching change since its creation in 1948. While it will remain funded largely by the government and free at the point of use to all those in need of care and treatment, the way health services are provided is changing radically. The Blair government is introducing market-style changes that aim to increase pluralism in the provision of services, efficiency in the allocation of resources, and responsiveness to patient preferences. It is encouraging new providers from the private sector to enter the market and compete with existing providers or replace them.

  • Is the government’s prescription for change the only one available and the most optimal?
  • Where is the evidence to justify such a huge upheaval? Market-style policies and competition are heralded as resulting in better services because patients will be able to exercise choice as to where they receive hospital care but where is the evidence to support such a radical policy shift?
  • Does it matter that these changes have been dreamed up by politicians and their special advisers in relative secrecy with virtually no engagement with either the health care professions or the public?

This issue will be addressed by an NYU Wagner discussion panel Friday March 2 at 11:00 a.m. featuring David Hunter, professor of health policy and management at the University of Durham and director of the Centre for Public Policy and Health, School of Health and Wolfson Research Institute. Discussants will include Ted Marmor, professor of politics and public policy, Yale School of Organization and Management, and Rosemary Stevens, distinguished scholar in social medicine and public policy, Weill Cornell Medical College, and professor emeritus, University of Pennsylvania Victor G. Rodwin, professor of health policy and management at Wagner, will be the moderator.

  • Date: Friday, March 2, 2007
  • Time: 11 am - 1 pm
  • Location: Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University; The Puck Building, 2nd Fl. Conference Room, 295 Lafayette Street @ Houston.


Established in 1938, the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service offers advanced programs leading to the professional degrees of Master of Public Administration, Master of Urban Planning, Master of Science in Management, and Doctor of Philosophy. Through these rigorous programs, NYU Wagner educates the future leaders of public, nonprofit, and health institutions as well as private organizations serving the public sector.

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Robert Polner
Robert Polner
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