Healthcare analysis cuts no ice in Whitehall

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 07 October 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:898
  1. John Warden

    Conflicting rhetoric at the party conferences serves to disguise how wide is the political consensus on British health policy. It is aptly symbolised by a recent decision of the Conservative ruled House of Commons to commission a memorial bust of Aneurin Bevan, thus forgiving his “Tory vermin” speech and honouring him as the father of the NHS. Likewise, the current political consensus encompasses not only the newly reformed structures of the NHS but even more firmly the fundamental Bevanite tenet that it should remain a tax funded service available to all and free at the point of use.

    That principle has been enshrined by both parties of government ever since Britain, alone in western Europe's postwar reconstruction, opted for a state funded health service. The doctrine of socialised medicine is so deeply embedded in electoral affection that …

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