The envy of the world
A phrase much used by politicians internationally to describe their own healthcare system. Some have termed parts or all of the NHS as "the envy of the world". Some of their names and as much of the actual quote as seems relevant is listed below:
- Aneurin Bevan, Minster for Health, used this term in a speech to the Royal Medico-Psychological Association, 5 September 1945 according to a report in the Journal of Mental Science January 1946 "I know very well I am not going to succeed in my task by bullying methods. I have to meet them across the table and try to break down their suspicions. I am satisfied we can do it, and that before another year is over we shall be able to lay before the people of Great Britain a structure of medical and hospital services which will make Great Britain the envy of all other nations in the world."
- John C. Goodman, "The Envy of the World?", in Arthur Seldon, ed., The Litmus Papers: A National Health Disservice (London: Centre for Policy Studies, 1980)
- Mr Tony Blair, Prime Minister in December 1997 in the foreword to The new NHS modern, dependable "In short, I want the NHS to take a big step forward and become a modern and dependable service that is once more the envy of the world."
- Mr Frank Dobson, Secretary of State for Health in House of Commons is reported to have said this in December 1997 by the BBC in the context of his white paper A modern and dependable NHS which is full of making the NHS "the best in the world" with phases such as "At its best the National Health Service is the envy of the world"
- Mr. Alan Milburn, The Minister of State, Department of Health "The best in the NHS is still the envy of the world."Hansard 1998
- Susan Deacon MSP, Minister for Health and Community Care, Scotland in March 2000 Scottish Executive Newsletter NHS wayahead: "We have a unique opportunity in Scotland to develop a health service which is the envy of the world"
- Sir George Alberti, the Government's emergency access "tsar" in a press release on 25th October 2004 "Emergency care in the NHS is now the envy of the world"
- David Cameron, Leader of the Opposition, 4 Jan 2006 Improving our NHS "A free health service that works for everyone and is the envy of the world."