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Cheap imitation

Grand to hear David Willetts, the minister for universities and science, on the Today programme early last week, backing up David Cameron’s plans for the life sciences (see News, page 6 via link below) and lauding the example of the National Health Service in Scotland. There, as he correctly noted, “they are better than in England at linking up the data from the GPs, data from the hospitals and researchers.” This disparity is well-known in research policy circles. But it is commonly ascribed to the fact that Scotland retains an unreconstructed, centrally-run NHS, blissfully free of trusts, internal markets, and all the other trappings of ‘reform’ that Blair and Cameron have sought to impose south of the border.

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