Compare and contrast the role of New Public Management in health care reform in Germany and the UK from the 1980s onwards

The planning of health care reform by the New Public Management (NPM) emphasized several targets including public/ private partnerships and a concern for quality through total quality management (Thomas &amp. Lakhani, 2006: 141). Most reforms and improvements in the health care sector were based on NPM principles and took place during the late 1980s and 1990s, which was the decade of the welfare state retrenchment. New public management principles were considered to be more appropriate for analysing health care reforms than other concepts like privatisation, though NPM emphasizes “both market-based reforms and the use of private management styles in the public sector” (van Essen, 2005: 3). Since the Second World War, two main types of health care systems have developed in Europe. Firstly the national health service type that is present in the United Kingdom, and secondly a corporatist, insurance-based type of health care system as found in Germany (van Essen, 2005: 7).
Health care is not only highly valued by all individuals in society, it is also a social right. Hence, there is a requirement for equal accessibility of health care for all citizens, without exclusion. The undesirability of exclusion and market failures in financing and provision give legitimacy to state intervention in health care. Thus, in order to solve the market failures in health care and and to ensure universal, equal access, two different systems are developed in Europe. In the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), providers are mainly public organizations. for example most hospitals in the U.K. are led by the local governments. On the other hand, in the insurance-based system found in Germany, hospitals and other health care providers can be both public and private organizations. For instance, German hospitals are voluntary organizations which operate on a private basis (van Essen, 2005: 10, 12).
The National