Shaping the future of healthcare: building back better
The Covid-19 pandemic has not only highlighted societal inequalities but also shown how a resilient health service is essential for protecting citizens. The NHS was founded in 1948 to provide universal healthcare but has been under sustained attack for the past thirty years. As a seven-year-old patient with osteomyelitis, the NHS almost certainly saved my life. Seventy years later I reflect on the humanising and civilising aspects of the NHS, the need for doctors to be advocates and custodians, as well as clinicians working in the best interests of their individual patients; and the requirement for the medical profession to understand the social determinants of ill health and how these can be ameliorated. The reward for engaging in this struggle: a healthier world in the widest sense and greater satisfaction for all those working in the prevention and treatment of ill health.
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