We want it all
Politicians don't want to admit that patients can't have everything all the time. Christopher Hands reports on the need for rationing
Health care is big news. In the US, the debate about access to health care is a key issue in the race for the Democratic party nomination for the presidential election. Germany's parliament has undergone a long struggle with a bill to reform the healthcare system, which in late 2006 threatened the stability of the coalition government.
In Canada, the hegemony of nationally funded health care has been brought increasingly into question since George Zeliotis won the right to pay for his orthopaedic surgery in 2005. In the United Kingdom, the National Health Service is an important political battleground—according to a recent survey by the charity Cancerbackup, 67% of people will vote in the next election on the basis of health policy. Everywhere in the developed world, dissatisfaction with the way health care is organised drives a fierce political debate.
In none of these countries, however, does the political debate