If we allow the NHS to fail, our economy will fail with it

The Rational Policy-Maker’s Guide to the NHS presents evidence and analysis to demonstrate that:

  1. The overall business model of the NHS is not only sound, it is the best healthcare model yet demonstrated in practice in an advanced economy;
  2. The current serious underperformance of the NHS is the inevitable result of 13 years of underfunding – no healthcare system can withstand such levels of sustained underfunding;
  3. If the NHS is allowed to fail, the economy will fail with it – the UK economy cannot afford not to fund the NHS properly.

The report was put together by a multi-disciplinary team of volunteers led by The 99% Organisation, and supported by Keep Our NHS Public, Every Doctor, the National Health Action Party and others. The authors have deep expertise in a range of relevant areas including NHS management, senior clinical roles, economics, and financial analysis.

The Rational Policy Maker’s Guide to the NHS includes results from a model which maps the inter-relationships between the health of the population and the health of the economy.  It demonstrates how underfunding the NHS inevitably creates an increasingly sick population which in turn leads to lower productivity, and lower economic output.  This results in less money being available for healthcare funding; and the downward cycle continues. A decade of this has been harmful; continuing with this policy would be a disaster.

The report further shows that the funding required to return the NHS to its pre-eminent position in relation to other leading healthcare systems need not involve punishing tax rises or risk inflation.  After a short period of re-investment, ongoing levels of funding in the NHS will gradually return to 9% of GDP; in line with –  or in fact below –  most other advanced economies. The report also demonstrates that popular ‘fixes’ for the NHS, such as insurance-based funding or privatisation, are certain to fail to deliver what is needed – either for people or the UK economy. Using this analysis, the report gives policy makers clarity on how they can return the NHS to the position of best healthcare system in the world.  And it shows that far from being an impossible task, it is in fact perfectly achievable.



The report was launched in Parliament on 4 July, 2023 and inspired and was repeatedly cited in a Westminster Hall Debate held on 24 October 2023.

Contact: mark.e.thomas@99-percent.org

Published: 4 July, 2023, London

Publisher : The 99% Organisation