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Sharing the British National Health Service around the world: a self-interested perspective

25 Oct 2013

As the UK reiterates its commitment to protecting and growing its development aid budget amidst an adverse economic environment for the UK and Europe, we discuss the potential to use the country’s National Health Service (NHS) model as a vehicle for promoting the country’s economic as well as global health diplomacy and development priorities, through a coordinated cross-government plan of action. With the country’s Prime Minister serving as a co-chair of the UN post-2015 development agenda panel,a this is a unique opportunity for the UK to put forward its health system architecture as a highly applicable and well-tested model for providing access to efficient and cost-effective care, with minimal financial hardship. Arguably, such a model tailored to the needs of specific countries could consequently lead to commercial opportunities for UK plc. in areas such as consulting, training, education and healthcare products. Finally, this approach would be consistent with the current thinking on the evolving role of UK aid, especially in the case of emerging powers such as India, where the focus has shifted from aid to investment in technical assistance and cooperation as a means of boosting bilateral business and trade.

25 October 2013

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