This report reviews the evidence around plain packaging for cigarettes from Australia, the only country to have tried the policy so far. It finds that plain packaging has not had a noticeable impact on smoking rates, but has led to a significant rise in counterfeits, which are more easily available for underage smokers.
Statistician John C. Duffy and ASI fellow Christopher Snowdon assess the Sheffield Alcohol Policy Model, used as the basis for the British and Scottish governments' calls for minimum alcohol pricing. They find that the model is deeply flawed, based on faulty premises and used to justify policy far beyond what it actually proves.Read more...
Tasmania's proposed smoking ban is another sign that anti-smoking campaigners are ready to come out of the closet and admit that they are prohibitionists, says Chris Snowdon.Read more...
In this report, retired industrial line manager and entrepreneur Chris Davies reflects on his experience of four decades of NHS care, and details the numerous occasions on which Britain's health service has failed him. He argues that the NHS is a fifties-style nationalized service that does “time wasting and inconvenience on a monumental scale" and is fundamentally incapable of serving its customers effectively. Davies goes on to advocate reforms far more radical than anything yet contemplated by the British government: his blueprint would see the entire NHS estate sold to competing, private groups; it would establish a national insurance fund financed by the proceeds of those sales and by employer and employee contributions; and it would introduce a co-payments system whereby patients had to pay 20 percent of medical bills themselves, up to reasonable annual limit.
This paper, which analyzes World Health Organization data, suggests that the NHS fails to distinguish itself on either health outcomes or value for money – when ranked against similar countries, the UK is in the lower half of both league tables. Even more depressing are the findings of the annual Euro-Canada Health Consumer Index, which ranks the UK 15th out of 18 Western European countries in terms of healthcare performance from the perspective of the consumer. Such findings surely make it hard to keep insisting that the NHS is ‘the envy of the world’.
The coalition government’s health proposals are a mixed bag, and much will depend on the final legislation and implementation process. But whatever happens, they will not create a real market in healthcare…
In this article Tom Clougherty explains why health spending needs to be cut and suggests the best ways of achieving these spending reductions.
This paper documents the bewildering and counter-productive range of political initiatives and interference which has wreaked such havoc on our nation's healthcare system.
The paper's proposal is for a distinguished panel of health professionals to be appointed to run the NHS, to allocate its budget, determine its priorities, and operate it according to medical needs rather than political aims. A YouGov poll taken on the subject shows massive popular support for precisely such a proposal, with 69 percent in favour and only 12 percent against.
The NHS budget would be set by Parliament every five years, and up-rated each year in line with inflation. The ASI's YouGov poll showed that this idea, too, enjoys widespread popular support, with 74 percent in favour. The suggestion that "the NHS has become a political football" receives 72 percent backing.
Dr Fred Hansen explores the growing issues with the NHS and examines what could be done to deal with them. He explains the need to bring the responsibility of healthcare back to the consumer and give them more control over healthcare. He picks up the issue of 'self care' and outlines why and how it could work.
In this report, part of the ASI's influential Road Map series, the authors seek to retain what is best about the NHS, in particular the fairness that it represents. The report is based on the principle that everyone should have high-quality healthcare free at the point of need, and assumes that most healthcare will continue to be funded through taxation. Nonetheless the authors also propose to unleash the power of enterprise and innovation in how healthcare is actually provided. This requires breaking through the ideological barricades - a public-private mixture is really the only way forward.