The National Health Service (NHS) was created out of the ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth. When it was launched by the then minister of health, Aneurin Bevan, on July 5 1948, it was based on three core principles:
• that it meet the needs of everyone
• that it be free at the point of delivery
• that it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay
These three principles have guided the development of the NHS over more than 60 years and remain at its core.