NHS 60th Anniversary Celebrations

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2008 Health Care Service Group Conference
12 December 2007
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that 5 July 2008 marks the 60th Anniversary of the creation of the National Health Service.

When the UK’s National Health Service came into operation in 1948, it was the first time anywhere in the world that completely free healthcare was made available on the basis of citizenship rather than ability to pay. The single most important social advance of the twentieth century, the NHS provided decent healthcare for all and transformed the lives of millions.

Now, almost sixty years on, Conference notes that the NHS is still going strong. However, the increased marketisation and privatisation weakens this. It remains overwhelmingly free at the point of use, available to all who need it, and is one of the most efficient health services in the world. Conference believes that the NHS is a lasting legacy that must be supported and preserved for future generations. It therefore calls upon the Health Service Group Executive to:

1)highlight the successes of the NHS over the last 60 years in terms of medical advances, improvements in public health and increased life expectancy;

2)mark the 60th Anniversary of the NHS with a series of events and activities throughout 2008 to celebrate its achievements and pay tribute to its skilled and dedicated workforce; and continue to campaign to defend its founding principles and build widespread support to safeguard its future;

3)ensure that during these events and activities the union makes clear its total opposition to the government’s policies of welcoming private sector invovlement in the NHS, pay cuts for staff, and service cuts for patients;

4)congratulate the work done in Scotland and Wales to abolish prescription charges and to campaign to see this founding principle of the NHS rolled out throughout the whole of the UK.