THE NHS is celebrating 70 years in existence. Founded by Welshman Aneurin Bevan on the 5th July 1948.
Nye Bevan believed everyone in the country, regardless of their background, had a right to healthcare if they needed it. It started with a budget of £437 million. Prescriptions were free. Car parking was free. Nurses wore pressed uniforms and the Matron dominated the wards.
Since then it has become the largest employer in the U.K. and 5th largest employer in the world. It also made numerous advancements in technology and medicine over the years, which has allowed each an every one of us to live longer, healthier lives.
Even with all that innovation and quality, and despite being subject to large scale reform under different governments, the NHS has never strayed from its defining principle: being free at the point of delivery.
It is possibly the most talked about and heated subject in political circles, and for good reason. At some point, most people in this country are going to need it. Residents made their voice heard just a few months ago when Llanelli’s Prince Philip Hospital came under threat of being downgraded.
That campaign appears to have made an impact as well, as the hospital instead faced an upgrade. A number of events on Thursday (Jul 5) to celebrate both the 70th anniversary of the NHS and the opening of a new suite at the outpatients department. The event included music from Prince Philip Hospital Choir and school choirs. Rugby legend Phil Bennett also attended and talked about his support of the NHS. Balloons were released to mark the end of the celebrations.