The number of doctors should be increased

This is a start, but as it stands it is really not adequate. For if you think about it, the argument is clearly not valid. It does not follow, from the fact that such-and-such would bring about some desirable result, that we should do such-and-such (also look again at the earlier argument about the sunhat rule). There are two reasons.

First, we need to know that the cost of the proposed action does not outweigh the benefit of the outcome. For example, it would certainly improve the NHS if the government were to increase its budget by tenfold. But that would not be a good idea, as the cost would be far too great. This sort of thing - 'weighing the costs' - is clearest where money is at stake, but it is not limited to monetary considerations. If you want stronger muscles, for example, then you have to weigh the desirability for you of stronger muscles against the 'cost' of exercising (the time expended, the pain, etc.). Indeed, even in the argument about the NHS, we are not assuming that the value of an improved NHS can be assessed in monetary terms.

Second, we need to know that there is not some other means that would bring about the same benefit but at a lower cost. We need to know, that is, that the proposed action is the most efficient or economical way to bring about the desired outcome.

In reconstructing practical reasoning, then, we have to incorporate both of these points as premises. The argument concerning the NHS, then, would go something like this:

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