The Health of the Nation


Owen, David

04/12/2014 | Paperback |

ISBN: 9780413777720

About The Health of the Nation

The National Health Service is the most enduring of the institutions created by the first real Labour Government (1945-51). Before the NHS was created, treatment of ill health was provided by doctors in their surgeries and in hospitals, all of which had to be paid for by the patients. Many poorer families paid their GP's a monthly sum as they were usually in arrears with the fees. The Labour Government's vision was for a health service free for everybody and this was launched in 1948, with Aneurin Bevan as first Minister for Health. Now after nearly seventy years, with the costs of the NHS running at some £120 billions annually, and threatened by the 2012 Health and Social Care Act, the NHS is in danger of being classed as any other utility, gas, water, electricity and is imminent danger of marketization and commercialisation. In his book The Health of the Nation, David Owen has explained the consequences of the 2012 Act and the damage to the NHS that will result. Those most affected will be those who can least afford good health care. This book presents a powerful case for the repeal of the 2012 Act and for the restoration of the NHS to its traditional values.


David Owen

David Owen (Lord Owen) trained and practised as a medical doctor before being elected a Labour MP in his home city of Plymouth. He served as Foreign Secretary under James Callaghan from 1977 until 1979. He co-founded and went on to lead the Social Democratic Party (SDP), and is now a Crossbencher in the Lords. Among many books, he is the author of In Sickness and In Power - Illness in Heads of Government during the last 100 years, The Hubris Syndrome, Balkan Odyssey, a powerful autobiography, Time to Declare, the updated edition of which was published as part of Politico's Great Statesmen Series in August 2009, and a poetry anthology, Seven Ages.

David Owen is the author of a number of books on political subjects including The Hubris Syndrome (Methuen) and In Sickness and In Power (Methuen), both in-depth studies of the health of leaders in governments and the impact of illness on their effectiveness in office. He served as a Labour Party Member of Parliament for twenty-six years during which time he was Health Minister (1974–76) under Harold Wilson and Foreign Secretary (1976–79) under James Callaghan. He left the Labour Party when, under Michael Foot’s leadership, it lurched too far to the left. David Owen was one of the ‘Gang of Four’ to found the Social Democratic Party in 1983, which he led on two separate occasions. In 1992 David Owen was created a Life Peer and now sits as an independent social democrat in the House of Lords. Before entering Parliament, Lord Owen trained as a medical doctor at St Thomas’s Hospital, London, where he was Clinical Neurologist and Psychiatric Registrar. He has championed the NHS throughout its existence and is now a powerful advocate for its reinstatement to its original purpose.


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