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A random sample of 6000 people from eight general practices in and around Oxford was studied to ascertain their surgical histories and method of care received. The proportion of operations that were performed privately had increased with time and had a steep gradient according to social class. Different procedures had different likelihoods of being performed privately, but the age and sex of the patient had a non-significant association with private surgery. Adjustment for possible confounding variables using logistic analysis indicated that in the 1980s elective surgery is five times more likely to be performed privately than it was at the institution of the National Health Service.

Original publication




Journal article


Br med j (clin res ed)

Publication Date





797 - 799


Adult, Age Factors, Aged, England, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Private Practice, Sex Factors, Social Class, State Medicine, Surgical Procedures, Operative