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Labour targets the chief medical officer

BMJ 1996; 312 doi: (Published 20 April 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;312:998

For many British institutions the arrival of a Labour government would be a moment of truth. Establishments ranging from grammar schools to the House of Lords—which have enjoyed a 17 year reprieve under the Conservatives—view the prospect of Labour returning to power in the next 12 months with justified apprehension. But along with Labour's traditional targets are some new ones, and one that has recently joined the list is the chief medical officer, whose entrenched status as a senior official in the Department of Health Labour intends to bring under scrutiny.

In the 150 years since the office of the chief medical officer was instituted under Edwin Chadwick in 1846, it has changed with the times, and Labour could claim the best of motives by …

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