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National health service act

1946 (disease) - free medical, dental and eye care for all - implemented in 1948


What did many doctors belong to ?

The British Medical Association (BMA)


How was the NHS received by doctors ?

UNHAPPY - they had fought against government reforms such as the 1911 introduction of free medical care for those paying NI - they had also fought against all changes to increase free health care such as 1941 law that raised the income of people who could claim from £250 to £420 - DID NOT WANT TO WORK FOR LOCAL AUTHORITIES


What was the health service a mix of ?

free 'panels', private care and hospitals and clinics run by voluntary groups - BMA reps sat on government committees to discuss reform but disagreed over the amount of government control, who could get free healthcare and how doctors should be paid


Who was the new minister of health under Labour and what did he do ?

Aneurin Bevan - he set up committees to consult with the BMA and pushed through the National Health Services Act despite BMA protests


When was the NHS passed ?

November 1946


What was the set date for the start of free medical care ?

January 1948 but disputes with the BMA delayed this until April 1948 - it was not until July 1948 that the NHS began to provide its free services


What was the reaction to the NHS?

People could hardly believe the NHS was really going to provide free health care and so rushed to make use of it

Some people took advantage (took free cotton wool which was really cheap anyway), however others genuinely needed health care but did not have the chance to receive it before.


How did the government underestimate the cost of the services?

They based it on the normal use of the services, however they should have taken into account the fact that not charging for the health care would have a serious impact.


What was the most popular service?

Glasses and false teeth were the most popular, but the medicine bill was also high


What did the government debate in 1949 and what did they introduce as a result?

-They were debating introducing charges
- They introduced the National Health Service Act of 1949 which set a 1 shilling prescription charge (The old, poor or disabled did not have to pay)


When did the national health service act come into force?



What happened as a result of the national health service act?

Bevan disagreed and resigned as minister of health because of it


What was the second health act put in place and when was it put in place?

Another act, in 1951, put a charge of one shilling towards the costs of glasses or half the cost of false teeth (again, the old, poor or disabled did not have to pay)


How were the charges that were introduced in 1951 reacted to?

These charges were fiercely objected to, but even when they were in force, those who needed free treatment with getting it, a vast improvement on the situation before the war.


Give arguments for and against using the NHS to get things such as wigs and cotton wool?

Some might say these are hardly vital, but people could argue they were paying NI contributions so entitled to it for free. Furthermore some people could have really needed these things and could have not afford it themselves.


Is it exploitation if someone is using the NHS lots?

Many people at the time used the NHS as much as they could because they had many problems however if they had to pay for it they would not be able to afford this healthcare. Although, because she is using it so much many people would see this as Exploitation.


BMA Jan 1948 survey stats

Survey asked whether members approved of NHS Act 1946 - 40814 votes against and 4735 for

BMA also advised non-cooperation unless 13,000 were for the NHS - 14,620 were for due to changes to the pay and restriction of private practice
-> on 28th May BMA recommended doctors to take part


Prescription stats in 1947

Doctors gave out 7m prescriptions a month in 1947 and by 1951 they were giving out 19m - local clinic reported that many women coming in had lost all or had their teeth


Improvements made by the NHS for women

Before NHS many women suffered ill health and could not get treatment as not covered by national insurance schemes - NHS made high quality maternity care available to many including training of midwives and health visitors - reduced number of women who died in childbirth and complications such as infection and postnatal depression


Improvement of treatment provided by NHS

Numbers of doctors double between 1948 and 1973 and anaesthetics continued to advance enabling longer and more complex surgeries


Rise in number of patients on Doctors registers

rose to 30 million after new NHS


NHS optician budgets

NHS budgeted £1 million for opticians but within a year 5.25 million prescriptions and other work produced a bill of £32 million


NHS hospital beds

In the first year from a total of 240,000 hospital beds only 2.5% were private - over 95% of doctors had joined the NHS


How did the government underestimate NHS costs ?

Many people took advantage of the new service and rushed to get new teeth and glasses - medicine bills were also high - government based costs on current dentistry and optician bills


Charges introduced by the government by 1949

- NHS Act of 1949 set a 1s prescription charge (excluding old, poor or disabled) - came into force in 1952 - Bevan disagreed with it and resigned as Minister of health

-1951 a charge of 1s was put towards the cost of glasses or half the cost of false teeth (excluding old etc)

GREATLY OPPOSED - but those who needed free treatment still got it


What was the government spending on the NHS each year from 1948 to 1952, estimate and actual?

1948-49: estimated: 198,376,000/Actual: 275,904,542
1949-50: estimated: 352,324,600/actual: 449,171,732
1950-51: estimated: 464,514,400/actual: 465,019,300
1951-52: estimated to: 469,127,700/actual: 470,551,200