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Page last updated at 17:33 GMT, Tuesday, 22 July 2008 18:33 UK

NHS for Sale

Panorama: NHS for Sale will be on BBC One at 8.30pm on Monday 7 July 2008.

On 5 July 1948 the National Health Service was brought into existence, making free public health care available to all, funded by the tax system.

To mark the 60th anniversary of the NHS, Panorama asks what lies ahead for Britain's healthcare system.

NHS at 60 logo
The British public loves its health service, but can it survive another 60 years?

Reporter Sally Magnusson investigates what many see as a creeping privatisation of the Health Service and asks if it is cause for concern.

The programme asks if traditional GP surgeries could be going the same way as post offices - facing closure as a result of the latest upheaval. in the NHS?

Can a system of free medical care for all be maintained in the face of new and expensive treatments, and with a population becoming ever more knowledgeable and more demanding?

The simplicity of the NHS idea has survived the complexity of extraordinary medical progress.

Universal, funded from taxation and free at the point of need - are phrases which Health Secretaries have reiterated for six decades.

But some argue that the traditional NHS is doomed because the state cannot afford to fund an ever increasing array of drugs and procedures.

The British public loves its health service, but can it survive another 60 years?

Panorama: NHS for Sale will be on BBC One at 8.30pm on Monday 7 July 2008.


During the programme Panorama: NHS for Sale, Professor Allyson Pollack said that there was nothing to prevent a number of companies contracted by the Department of Health supplying commissioning support services to primary care trusts (PCTs) from recommending themselves as a supplier to the same PCTs.

Humana Europe, one of the companies mentioned in the programme, has asked us to point out that it does not provide clinical services to PCTs and therefore would not find itself in a position in which such a conflict of interest could occur.




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