Thursday, 1 July 2010

The final catalyst

Inspired to write something after reading a number of outspoken comments on MyT about the origins of the NHS I decided to turn a comment made only a few days ago into a blog. This is the view of some:

'Do not forget that socialists CREATED the NHS. Do not forget either that right-wing extremists would rather there were no NHS at all'.

Is this true? I do not think it tells even half of the story. This is my view:

More polarization from those who appear to be more concerned with public victory than truth. Without the Beveridge report there would have been nothing for Bevan to work with. Without a loan of about $3,000,000,000 from the American government; no finance either. In other words, Socialists had to go cap in hand before any new hospitals could be built.

The NHS came at an incredible price. Many might argue it a price worth paying but Britain did not finally pay off the loan until three years ago. Today, the NHS costs an extra £13 billion which is the amount spent on health tourism. Women from all over the world arrive to have their babies on the NHS. The concept of the NHS was for those who had fought for freedom. It was never meant to subsidise and support the world; fine though that concept undoubtedly is.

A BBC article concludes:

'The Dawson Report of 1920 was the first big step towards a national health service, recommending a comprehensive system under the auspices of a single authority. It was followed by the Royal Commission on National Health Insurance in 1926 which pioneered the idea of a publicly funded health service. The creation of the Emergency Medical Service in Second World War further hastened the pace of change. It was the first time healthcare funding had been taken over by central government. In 1941, a government-commissioned independent inquiry found healthcare varied vastly across the country. With the voluntary hospitals permanently on the verge of financial collapse and the municipal hospitals almost universally loathed, there was no shortage of pressure for change.

Final catalyst

The final catalyst for the NHS came with the Beveridge report into social care in 1942. Sir William Beveridge, an eminent economist, identified a national health service as one of three essential elements of a viable social security system.'

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