The National Health Service (NHS) celebrates its 65th birthday today. While coalition politicians cut ribbons, they are also busy cutting the lifelines that make the service viable. Ceaseless scare stories, never ending costly reorganisations, rampant commercialisation and privatisation, and deliberate loading of unsustainable debt onto hospital balance sheets. It is time for a reminder of what we stand to lose, if we do not defend our Spirit of ’45 inheritance.
Life before the NHS
The National Health Service was born on July 5th 1948 – within living memory. The only recognised health system in Britain prior to the NHS was the system of National Health Insurance, established by Lloyd George from 1911. This insurance was paid by working men and their employers at a flat rate rather than graduated to account for differing levels of wealth; the Lord and the Layman paid the same fee. It…
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