Medicine: The Reluctant Britons

For two weeks mail sacks crammed with ballots had been lugged into the red brick headquarters of the British Medical Association in Bloomsbury's Tavistock Square. A blue-uniformed B.M.A. porter guarded the doors to the room where clerks (sworn to secrecy) counted the answers. The ballots were replies to a question sent to 55,842 B.M.A. members: Would Britain's doctors be willing to serve under the new National Health Service Act backed by Health Minister Aneurin ("Nye") Bevan?

The answer appeared to be an emphatic no. Last week the B.M.A. jubilantly announced that the results...

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