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Are the media losing faith in the NHS?

BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 20 October 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:941
  1. Alex Vass
  1. BMJ

    Amid all the debates that have raged over the past couple of decades about how to make the health service more efficient, one thing has always seemed clear: that the NHS is sacred. Even Mrs Thatcher, when her government introduced market forces to the heath service, didn't dare tamper with the idea of an NHS free at the point of use. The NHS has been likened to a theological institution, something that inspires fervent, almost religious belief (BMJ 1999;319:1588-9): any suggestion that we should deliver health care any other way is likely to be dismissed as heresy.

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    Or is it? Have horror stories of arduous trolley waits, filthy wards, staff shortages, and doctors and nurses at breaking point meant that we are now …

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