Barbara joined in a debate last week celebrating the 60th anniversary of the National Health Service.
She joined with Health Secretary Alan Johnson in thanking the many health professionals and support staff who make the NHS something for the UK to be proud of.
In the North West, over 11,000 more nurses and 500 more doctors are employed than in 1997. Waiting lists have also seen dramatic improvements with numbers waiting 6 months for inpatient treatment down to just 24 from the nearly 50,000 twenty years ago. In the debate, Barbara highlighted a specific initiative taken in Salford to improve cervical screening uptake by women in their 20s and 30s.
The debate celebrated the achievements of the NHS over the last 60 years. In this time medical advances have meant many common illnesses have been wiped out, and treatments have been found for many others. The NHS was created by the Labour government in 1948 to provide equal access to healthcare for all, regardless of gender, age or income.
Barbara said after the debate:
“The NHS is a source of pride for this country. Many people take our health services for granted today but developing health services which free to all citizens based on medical need was a radical step in the 1940s. There were huge health inequalities between rich and poor because healthcare had previously had to be paid for. Having the NHS means that no-one faces not receiving treatment because they can’t afford it.”