Saturday, 23 January 2010

Helen Evans & Shane Frith - 'Alternatives to Government-Run Healthcare'

The ubiquitous assumption in British political discourse is that state control of healthcare is a necessary policy to ensure universal access to high quality care, free from profit-motivated decision making. Our speakers challenge this assumption, arguing that evidence from voluntary schemes around the world present a compelling case for rejecting the deference to state-run systems of healthcare. Arguing from her experience as a senior nurse in the NHS, Helen Evans tackles the reform of healthcare provision, criticising the rationing and bureacracy of NICE, and the special interests served by the state's position as a monopolist in healthcare. Shane Frith discusses alternatives means of funding healthcare, in particular examining the possibilities of health savings accounts and private medical insurance as means of lowering costs, reducing moral hazard (the tendency to overconsume healthcare because it's 'free' to the end user) and encouraging medical innovation. The second video is the Q&A session following the talks.

Dr. Helen Evans is the Founder and Director of Nurses for Reform, a UK think tank that campaigns for more consumer-led and sustainable healthcare systems in Britain and throughout around the world. A senior nurse with more than twenty years experience in the NHS, her career has seen her work in some of Britain's leading hospitals, including the Princess Alexandra Hospital NHS Trust, the Royal London Hospital NHS Trust and St. Bartholomew's Hospital. She holds a degree in Health Management, and was awarded a Ph.D in Health Economics from Brunel University in 2006. She is a Health Fellow at the Adam Smith Institute, and has recently published Sixty Years On: Who Cares for the NHS? via the Institute of Economic Affairs.

Shane Frith is the Director of Progressive Vision, a London-based think tank that promotes classical liberalism and free markets, and founder of Doctor's Alliance, a pan-European network of medical professionals seeking better ways to deliver healthcare. Formerly Chairman of the International Young Democratic Union, he is active in centre-right politics in the UK and his native New Zealand, and has worked at Reform, the Centre for Policy Studies and Open Europe in recent years.

Recorded at Christ Church, University of Oxford on 3rd November 2009

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