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Is it a happy 65th birthday for the NHS?

View profile for Judith Thomas-Whittingham
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The 5th July 2013 marked the NHS’ 65th Birthday. It is the world’s largest publicly funded health service and has helped save millions of lives.

The NHS was implemented by the Labour government in 1948 and promised to provide care, which would be free for everyone, rich or poor.

However, many are saying that it might not make its next milestone unless officials take courageous action to save the service.

A recent survey by the British Medical Association (BMA), found that almost half of medics believe that greater integration between health and social care was the most important factor to ensure the future survival of the NHS.

Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt said: "In 65 years, the NHS has done more to improve people's lives than any other institution in our history, and its excellence makes us the envy of the world. We have taken real steps to protect the NHS and to give it a sustainable future."

In 1948, Aneurin Bevan the Health Minister was put in charge of introducing the NHS and he famously said it ‘will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it.’ The question now is, do we still have any faith in the NHS and if so, is it worth fighting for?

By Sarah Fairclough