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Medicine And The Media

The new apostasy

BMJ 1996; 313 doi: (Published 31 August 1996) Cite this as: BMJ 1996;313:566
  1. Harry Keen

    Acouple of years ago interviews were held for the post of director of the NHS Support Federation, an organisation opposing the NHS reforms. One bright candidate in her early 30s claimed great interest in health services. When I enquired about her views on the social purpose of the NHS, she asked me what I meant by social purpose. “Is it something like a business plan or a mission statement?” she wondered.

    I realised that the Britain in which she had grown up had undergone a change of religion. In BBC2's three part series on the NHS reforms, Safe with Us, this becomes clear. No longer do we have a “religion” of the NHS, as it is aptly and dismissively described by former Chancellor of the Exchequer Nigel Lawson early in the first programme.

    We now have the religion of …

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