Leeds nostalgia: Doctors warn over NHS plan

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  • Turning the clocks back to find what was in the news 70 years ago today...
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Winding the clock back 70 years, we find that doctors were in dispute with the Government of the day but it wasn’t about wages and working hours but the dangers of “becoming civil servants” as the Council of the British Medical Association put it.

Responding to proposals by the Labour Government to create a co-ordinated national health service, the doctors’ group said it had serious misgivings about the plan.

In an article in the YEP on this day in 1946, it said the long-held notion of ‘the family doctor’ would disappear. It said both doctors and patients would suffer.

The article read: “The patient will suffer from this control as much as, or more than, the doctor, inevitable there will be an urge by the State to cut short sickness to save funds and get men back to work. The Government Actuary has stated high standards both of medical certification and administrative supervision will be necessary.”

In other news, the YEP debated the pros and cons of the pre-fabricated house. The pros included a nifty electric cooker and a fridge, while the cons included cupboard doors which opened awkwardly towards room doors and the fact the woman of the house had to remove a base plate on the fire in order for it to draw properly.

In Roundhay, the UK’s first non-skid road was unveiled. It was a 200 yard stretch near St Aiden’s Church. It consisted of parallel strips of graded tar macadam at right angles to the traffic. The report said the technique obviated the need to relay the whole road.

Finally, the thorny issue of soldiers returning to civilian life was encapsulated when one Bradford wool firm, H Haigh & Co, said returning employees had to “prove themselves” after six years away.