23:21 GMT +322 February 2019
Listen Live
    A demonstrator holds a tupperware of cakes with NHS (National Health Service) written on them outside Maudsley Hospital during a 24-hour strike by junior doctors over pay and conditions in London on February 10, 2016.

    #HappyBirthdayNHS: UK's Public Health Service Still Alive & Kicking at 68

    © AFP 2018 / Justin Tallis
    Get short URL
    0 52

    Almost forced into retirement having been inflicted with various ailments caused by successive governments over the decades, Britain's National Health Service, the NHS, is 68 years old on 5 July 2016.

    Funded mainly by public taxes, the NHS is only just hanging on in there in that nursing home having been lied to by the likes of former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and robbed of the family silver by successive health secretaries.

    ​Oh, remember that US$350 million per week that the NHS was set to receive if the UK left the European Union? Well that was a total lie — made up by the Leave campaign.

    And its poor old knees are buckling under the strain due to its founding principle, free for all at the point of delivery, when it was born, on 5 July 1948.

    The anti-immigrant rhetoric has piled on pressure saying it's bursting at the seams because too many EU and non EU migrants have access to Britain's free healthcare system — but rarely is it mentioned that Britain's obesity crisis is also putting a heavy strain on the NHS.

    And it was with weighted irony that the opening ceremony for the London Olympics in 2012 was dedicated to the NHS and its nurses.  

    ​Only two years earlier in 2010, Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary announced plans to abolish all strategic health authorities and Prime Care Trusts by April 2013, opening the door for more privatization.

    ​And the NHS only just narrowly escaped inclusion in the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) after doctors voted in favor of pushing the Government to drop health and social care from the controversial trade agreement between the EU and the US. The little old lady in the nursing home could relax — but not for long.

    Next, junior doctors decided to strike — for the first time in NHS history. Angry at the government's new contract, the British Medical Association (BMA) was left with little choice but to ballot its members for strike action.

    Junior doctors take part in a strike near St Thomas' Hospital in London, Britain April 27, 2016.
    © REUTERS / Stefan Wermuth
    Junior doctors take part in a strike near St Thomas' Hospital in London, Britain April 27, 2016.

    Sixty-eight years on, and Britain's health care system remains a cherished old lady, sitting in a nursing home, who still doesn't judge how much money you have, or where you come from. 

    If you turn up, you will be looked after and you will be treated by medical experts and it won't cost you a penny. The worry is, how much longer will it last?

    Doctors argued the contract would put patients more at risk; the government accused the doctors of lying. Apparently doctors didn't have much public support — but that depends on which newspaper you read in Britain. Like the nice old lady in the nursing home — the majority of the public in Britain cherishes the NHS and support the junior doctors who have voted to reject the contract.

    ​However, on July 5 2016, the UK says happy 68th birthday to the NHS and a big thumbs up to Labour politician Nye Bevan who created what has become, a very British institution and a national treasure. 

    ​The NHS was founded #otd 1948, thanks to the efforts of Nye Bevan #HappyBirthdayNHS https://t.co/ck3hrmdX6q pic.twitter.com/s3vhkecSEg


    Is an NHS 'Top-Up' Fee Coming Soon?
    UK Must Discuss Trade Deals, NHS Protections Outside EU
    Diagnosis 'Death': NHS Will Not Survive TTIP, Say UK Doctors
    birthday, nurses, doctors, social media, health, National Health Service (NHS), Jeremy Hunt, Nigel Farage, Great Britain, United Kingdom
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik