• Question: How hard was it to create the NHS?

    Asked by Pineapple and watermelon to Aneurin Bevan on 14 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Aneurin Bevan

      Aneurin Bevan answered on 14 Nov 2018:

      It was very difficult.

      I faced opposition from the conservative party, British Medical Association, medical practitioners and also members of my own party, not only that I was also responsible for setting up a welfare state which included housing

      I think the main reason some were against the idea of a national health service was because I wanted to use public money. I really believed that everyone should have access to healthcare and using public money seemed the best way to do this. Don’t forget this was very shortly after the war and the country was in severe financial difficulty, so to pay for the new welfare state which included the NHS, we raised the tax rates for wealthy business owners. We saw it as a redistribution of wealth after all “no society can call itself civillised if a sick person is denied medical aid because of lack of means.”