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Friday, August 14, 1998 Published at 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK

The NHS: 'One of the greatest achievements in history'
The UK's National Health Service (NHS) came into operation at midnight on the fourth of July 1948. It was the first time anywhere in the world that completely free healthcare was made available on the basis of citizenship rather than the payment of fees or insurance premiums.
Making Britain better
When Labour health minister Nye Bevan launched the cherished socialist ideal of a national health service, he did it in the teeth of fierce opposition from the doctors and the Tories.
True to its principles?
The founding principles of the NHS have been invoked by politicians down the last 50 years, but has the reality of the NHS lived up to them? The BBC's Niall Dickson reports.
'Patients broke down my door'
The introduction of the NHS inspired a bizarre rush on cotton wool at Dr Arnold Elliott's east London surgery.
Handle with care
The NHS is the holy cow of UK politics. Successive ministers have learnt to their cost that the British public expect it to be treated with care. News online's Nick Assinder reports.
Five decades into the future
In the 50 years since the NHS was born, medical technology has developed at a fantastic rate. From antibiotics to complex surgery ...
Aneurin Bevan - Labour's lost leader
After setting up the NHS, Nye Bevan could have had the Labour leadership and even become prime minister. But he was a rebel the party hierarchy could never fully trust.
The cost of being healthy
When the NHS began, some experts suggested costs would fall as disease was eradicated. As everyone knows, the opposite was the case, says the BBC's Science Correspondent James Wilkinson.
All in the mind: mental health evolves
Changes in social attitudes have wrought one of the most radical changes in healthcare over the past 50 years - in the field of mental health.
The health of the nation
The NHS has made a tremendous difference to the health of the nation. But, says BBC Health Correspondent Fergus Walsh, it could do even better with our help.
The first NHS patient
When the government launched the NHS, they turned to a little girl to help them promote the new service. Fifty years on, Sylvia Diggory recalls the moment Nye Bevan stood by her hospital bed.
A career of caring
Liz Austin, MBE, epitomises the dedication to service that typifies many who have worked in the NHS. She was there on the first day in 1948 and continues to work in a Shrewsbury hospital.
Towards 2048
How will the NHS change in the next 50 years? BBC Health Correspondent Richard Hannaford believes patient power is going to radically alter the way healthcare is provided in the UK.

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