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.