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Director Halas & Batchelor
Release Date 1948
Sponsor Central Office of Information for Ministry of Health
Synopsis Charley has the workings of the National Health Service explained to him
Text version of this film
The Birth of the National Health Service
The National Health Service (NHS) was one of the major achievements of Clement Attlee's Labour government. By July 1948, Minister for Health, Aneurin Bevan had helped guide the National Health Service Act through Parliament. The introduction of the NHS provided people with diagnosis and treatment of illness. This included dental and ophthalmic services, free of charge for all those in need of its services.
This short animation on the National Health Service Scheme stars Charley. It was to show the public how the main services would affect an ordinary family, including Charley's wife - even if he did consider her 'as strong as a blooming horse!'
The National Health Service was expensive. In April 1951, the Labour Chancellor of the Exchequer, Hugh Gaitskell, placed a shilling on every prescription. He also announced that people would have to pay half the cost of dentures and spectacles. Outraged at the introduction of charges, Bevan resigned from the government calling for a free health service and nothing else.
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