Following on from the item on birth centres, we now learn that upto eighty cottage hospitals may be facing cuts. As per birthcare, it's not the cuts themselves that are necessarily the problem, but the fact that this is no economic choice, in the sense of matching demand to supply, but a bureaucratic choice. NHS managers have calculated that these facilities are the ones that will be least missed. How do they know? There is no market in healthcare, so there is no way for people to reveal their preferences.
It may be an article of faith in the UK that all healthcare should be free at the point of use, but until people are faced with the true costs of healthcare and make their choices accordingly, there will be no alternative to arbitrary bureaucratic decisions like this.