The NHS was set up in 1948. For the first time, hospitals, doctors, nurses, pharmacists, opticians and dentists were brought together under one umbrella organisation to provide services that were free for all at the point of delivery. The central principles were clear: the health service would be available to all and financed entirely from taxation, which meant that people paid into it according to their means.
After having my hearing loss finally diagnosed after I retired, I wondered why it was that my NHS hearing aid
(although I was given only one when I needed two) and its batteries were free when I had to pay for spectacle frames and lenses and pay a subscription towards dental care. It
made no sense whatsover.
Well, it seems that the last vestiges of the original NHS system are coming to an end with the latest cuts to services. More and more people (me included) are having to rely on the private sector for their hearing aids and lifelong follow-up care.