‘As we celebrate the NHS here, we must not underestimate its symbolism beyond our borders. As the People’s Health Movement, the global network of health activists, made clear in evidence to my recent consultation, the health service does not just impact on the lives of people in the UK. It is a beacon of hope to millions of people around the world who are fighting for their own access to healthcare. Its very existence demonstrates that universal, publicly funded healthcare is possible.
This was always its intention. As Nye Bevan said on the day the NHS was brought into existence: “The eyes of the world are turning to Great Britain. We now have the moral leadership of the world.”
As the NHS turns 70, we must fight to ensure that it exists in another 70 years. And we must also commit to doing everything we can to address the ideological drivers and root causes that undermine health, both in the UK and around the world.’
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