Since 1948 the provision of free comprehensive medical care has been part of British society. It was part of the major reforms brought in by the Labour Government just after the Second World War. The British public had long memories. They recalled how after the First World War they had been told that Britain would be a home fit for heroes. What they had got was longer hours, lower pay, women’s vote still not being resolved and then a recession so deep it resulted in huge unemployment. They had been badly let down by a succession of Conversative and Liberal Governments. It was clear that Churchill was a great war leader but he would not give them the social justice that they craved. They voted Labour and the upper classes, including George VI of the King’s Speech fame, were appalled.
It didn’t matter. Attlee, Bevan, Morrison, all great names in the Labour party were determined to see it through. When they announced the NHS it was met with derision. Existing Doctors were the worst opponents. They complained that there was no way that they could make as much money working for the Government. However Bevan soon put a stop to that by making sure they were well paid. “I stuffed their mouths with Gold!”, he famously said.
Suddenly, people from all the lower walks of life could go to the Doctors. Ailments that had plagued them for years were cured. The Doctors still needed Medical Indemnity. At least now they have MPRS