By Max Clarke

Health care professionals, UK residents and celebrities across the country are celebrating the 63rd Birthday of the NHS.

“I want to say a big thank you to all of the dedicated doctors, nurses and everyone else who makes up the NHS across the country — from Birmingham to Berkshire. Just like me, it’s still going strong after 63 years. Long may we both keep it up,” said former Black Sabbath frontman, Ozzy Osbourne, who was from the first generation to be born in the newly formed NHS hospitals.

Born on July 5 1948, the NHS was built out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth. When then Health Secretary Aneurin Bevan launched the service at Park Hospital in Manchester, it was the climax of a hugely ambitious plan to bring good healthcare to all. For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella organisation that was free for all at the point of delivery — as it remains today.

Recent attempts to reform the NHS as outlined by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley in the Health and Social Care Bill have arguably steered aspects of the institution towards privatisation, prompting fierce opposition from various workers’ unions, as the head of the TUC, Brenden Barber comments:

“The government's proposals go against the very principle of our National Health Service, in which care is based on need not ability to pay. They mean private providers will be able to increase their role in the NHS, simply cherry picking the most lucrative parts for their own private profit to the detriment of the overwhelming majority of patients.”


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