The Thatcherite market-driven policies of the 1980s and the subsequent consumerism-oriented Labour policies in the 1990s did significantly influence the National Health Service in terms of its outlook and culture. At the same time, the gradual disengagement of the state from provisions of social services, such as healthcare, housing, water and sanitation, and the simultaneous quasi-privatisation of these services during this era did force multiply their cost. Especially in terms of healthcare, it is now recognized across the board that the increased cost of healthcare over the last thirty years has negatively affected the level and extent of healthcare access for the British population in general and the socially-disadvantaged segments of the society in particular.
As mentioned above, healthcare standards do not only reflect a country’s socioeconomic viability and political direction, but often determine the political decisions that its leadership will need to make and their economic and social cost for the society. Healthcare disparities hence reflect and further aggravate the existing socio-cultural, economical and political disparities in a society.
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