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March 1966

Socialized Ophthalmology (in England)

Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;75(3):306. doi:10.1001/archopht.1966.00970050308002

"Well! What about socialized medicine?" and the traveling English doctor quails before the gentle menace of that familiar opening line. All right! What about our socialized ophthalmology? It is, after all, her 18th year and, like any well-bred girl, she should be "coming-out" this summer, ready for an inspection by the world at large, to see if all those adolescent travails have produced a decently marketable object.

Our National Health Service of 1948 brought a deal of trouble to the general practitioner, with tribulations that still grind on; but in the sheltered pastures of the ophthalmologist, most of these troubles seem as remote as battles in a far-off country. In effect, the great change-over provides us with a salary for those hospital clinics which we had formerly controlled as "honorary surgeons"; and it trimmed away perhaps a fifth of the available private patients, who now go to the free hospital

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