Healthy Britain . . .
For all the lovely things in Britain, for me and most others the best thing about Britain is our National Health Service. You don’t pay to see a doctor or use a hospital for things you need. It has often been called the Envy of the World and rightly so. It might be one of the greatest advances in social justice ever seen and has remained unmatched since its inception in 1948.
The health of the general population has been crucial to those in power at many key points in British history. No-one, of course, escaped the effects of the Black Death which killed up to a third of our population. Many whole communities were destroyed. But the whole ancient feudal system entered a terminal decline that allowed people to become untethered to their overlords, free to sell their labour to the highest bidder.
For most of our history, treatment, such as it was, was administered (freely) by religious communities and these provide the roots of many of our oldest established hospitals.