The problems of the National Health Service are not those brought about by unique circumstances and particular economic conditions, but are those which arise from placing the supply and finance of health in the public sector. With the provision of services perceived as "free", and the requirement to finance via taxation, a situation has been created in which demand is maximised, while the ability to satisfy that demand has been severely limited. The result has been services inadequate in both quantity and in the quality of health care. British health, once at the forefront, has fallen behind the standards of the advanced countries. Our queues are longer, and the supply of modern services and equipment is smaller.