Journal article

Did 'targets and terror' reduce waiting times in England for hospital care?

Carol Propper, Matt Sutton, Carolyn Whitnall, Frank Windmeijer

B E JOURNAL OF ECONOMIC ANALYSIS & POLICY | WALTER DE GRUYTER GMBH | Published : 2008

Abstract

Waiting times have been a central concern in the English NHS, where care is provided free at the point of delivery and is rationed by waiting time. Pro-market reforms introduced in the NHS in the 1990s were not accompanied by large drops in waiting times. As a result, the English government in 2000 adopted the use of an aggressive policy of targets coupled with the publication of waiting times data at the hospital level and strong sanctions for poor performing hospital managers. This regime has been dubbed 'targets and terror'. We estimate the effect of the English target regime for waiting times for hospital care after 2001 by a comparative analysis with Scotland, a neighbouring country wit..

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