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50 Years of the NHS

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Charles Webster reflects on the achievements and shortcomings of fifty years of the National Health Service.

The fiftieth anniversary of the National Health Service, which falls on July 5th, 1998, is a particularly suitable moment for reflecting on its record and also for considering some of the sources of disadvantage that have affected the system since the outset. This will help to explain the paradox that despite its early recognition as a great national institution, the NHS has for most of its history been perceived as being in a state of crisis and on the verge of breakdown.

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