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March 5, 1949


JAMA. 1949;139(10):639-646. doi:10.1001/jama.1949.72900270001006

Long before Great Britain began to provide medical care for the people under the new British National Health Act other nations had experimented with state medicine and compulsory sickness insurance systems. A careful study of the British National Health Act indicates that it represents another attempt to make administration serve purposes in medical care which are foreign to the practice of medicine.

Under the British National Health Act which became effective July 5, 1948, Great Britain was divided into some fourteen or more areas, each of which was controlled by a regional board. These boards include representatives of all of the interests mainly concerned in the conduct of hospitals. The ultimate financial control rests with the Minister of Health. He delegates to the regional boards the responsibility of planning hospital services in their areas. They are charged not so much with the management of individual hospitals as with arranging the

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