FREE SERVICE NOT BASED ON WEALTH BUT NEEDS.
WHEN he founded the NHS in 1948, Labour legend Aneurin Bevan proudly declared that being poor did not mean you would be left to suffer.
He said: "No longer will wealth be an advantage nor poverty a disadvantage.
"Healthcare will be provided free of charge based on clinical need and not on ability to pay."
Before the NHS was created, only the well-off could afford treatment.
Every year thousands on the poverty line died of infectious diseases such as pneumonia, meningitis, TB, diphtheria and polio.
Infant mortality was around one in 20 as the poor often went without treatment, sometimes relying on dubious home remedies.
Hospitals charged for services and, though the poor were sometimes reimbursed, not everyone could pay in the first place.
Many mentally ill and mentally handicapped people were locked away.
Older folk who could no longer look after themselves often ended up in the workhouse, a way of life only abolished in 1948.
Social reformers tried to help by offering free medical care but many were forced to ask their hard-up patients for donations.
FOUNDER J Aneurin Bevin
|Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback|
|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Feb 21, 2012|
|Previous Article:||I MAY HAVE DOZED; 'Admission' from bus crash driver.|
|Next Article:||I'm fighting for people like my niece's husband who has a brain tumour. Health shouldn't have a price put on it; SAVE THE NHS MUM WHO SPOKE FOR...|