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Are plans to change the NHS necessary?

10:47 UK time, Monday, 17 January 2011

The government has unveiled details about the biggest planned overhaul of the NHS in England since its inception in 1948. . Are the changes happening too fast?

The controversial Health and Social Care Bill includes proposals to give GPs control of most of the NHS budget by 2013.

Unions warn the plans could undermine the health service, while MPs say they have taken the NHS by "surprise".

But the government says modernising the NHS "is a necessity" and argues the changes will improve care and accountability.

Could savings be made on NHS bureaucracy? How will the changes affect patient care? Is there too much focus on cost savings rather than quality and are the changes happening too quickly? Will price competition for health care be damaging for the NHS?

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