Socialized Medicine: Does it work and should Christians support it?

Throughout history Christian institutions have been huge providers of medical care. Even today, most countries have pluralistic systems of healthcare in which Christian institutions play a significant part. But, increasingly, there are political movements that favour moves towards socialized and/or single-payer systems with much greater state involvement based on models that currently exists in the UK and Cuba. Support for such changes is growing in the US, including amongst Christians. But, are such systems as good as is often suggested? How do other countries provide healthcare? And how should Christians view the role of the state and independent institutions (including religious institutions) when it comes to the provision of healthcare? This issue is especially pertinent given the relationship between ethics, charity and healthcare – an issue raised by St. John Henry Newman in the last chapter of The Idea of a University.


Recommended Readings

Kristian Neimeitz (2016), Universal Healthcare without the NHS, Institute of Economic Affairs, London, UK. Can be downloaded free from:

James Bartholomew (2014), The Welfare State We’re In, Politicos, London, UK available from: Bartholomew/dp/1849544506

On US healthcare (blog post): The Pro-Worker Reforms That Could Fix Social Security and Health Care,

Blog post Christian objections to the NHS:

Course Years:



Philip Booth, Ph.D.

Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics and Director of Catholic Mission
St. Mary’s University, Twickenham