Archive for September 11th, 2010

Aneurin Bevan (1897-1960)
Is he still relevant? I think so. Especially when in America medicare is still an explosive issue.
The collective principle asserts that… no society can legitimately call itself civilised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.
—Aneurin Bevan, In Place of Fear, p100
On the “appointed day”, 5 July 1948, having overcome political opposition from both the Conservative Party and from within his own party, and after a dramatic showdown with the British Medical Association, which had threatened to derail the National Health Service scheme before it had even begun, as medical practitioners continued to withhold their support just months before the launch of the service, Bevan’s National Health Service Act of 1946 came into force. After 18 months of ongoing dispute between the Ministry of Health and the BMA, Bevan finally managed to win over the support of the vast majority of the medical profession by offering a couple of minor concessions, but without compromising on the fundamental principles of his NHS proposals. Bevan later gave the famous quote that, in order to broker the deal, he had “stuffed their mouths with gold”. Some 2,688 voluntary and municipal hospitals in England and Wales were nationalised and came under Bevan’s supervisory control as Health Minister.
When he was Britain’s minister of Health, he returned home each night with cabinet papers and retreated to a small top bed room with them. Once he called late in the night for his second brief case as bulging with sheaves of papers as before.
At this his wife remonstrated, ‘No’ said she, ‘One you may take. But taking two to bed is positively immoral.’

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