The health service has been promised “whatever it needs” to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, but government spending choices reveal possible long-term changes to funding and policy.
Having initially promised the health service “whatever it needs, whatever it costs” on 11th March, the government made this official when Matt Hancock issued a ministerial direction allowing the Department of Health to “spend in excess of formal Departmental Expenditure Limits”—effectively providing a blank cheque.
But while the government’s actions are designed for the immediate crisis, they may be difficult to reverse once the peak of coronavirus has passed. Indeed, they could yet change how the health service operates on a permanent basis.
Source: Prospect, 7 April 2020
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