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Department of Economic Research

JAMA. 1962;179(3):215-216. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050030029006.
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'The Genesis of the British National Health Service' 

Study by John and Sylvia Jewkes  Reviewed by Salvatore G. Rotella, D.Polit.Sc.The British National Health Service is still the subject of controversial writing, most of which relates to contingent problems. Reasons advanced by the founders of the Service, at the time the National Health Service Act was passed in 1946, are no longer the subject of study or discussion. Little or no attention is given to fundamental questions such as: Was the system altogether necessary? How much benefit have the British derived from the Service? How does this benefit compare with the benefit that other countries have derived from their own systems? What could have been alternatives to the National Health Service? Professor John Jewkes of Oxford University, in cooperation with his wife, Sylvia Jewkes, has just published a study in which the emphasis is mainly on these fundamental questions. This


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