15 DECEMBER 1944, Page 4

The doctors may have a good case, but I cannot

think they are very good at putting it. The persistent hostility to the National Health Service scheme on the ground that the doctor's essential duty is to his patient completely ignores the fact that the author of the scheme is in effect the patient himself, represented for this purpose by the Government .he has put in power. If, as the doctors say, the patient is the first consideration, then let the patient decide. So far there is no evidence whatever that the patients as a whole, meaning the voters of the country, are in the least opposed to the National Health Service scheme. All the evidence is the other way. If, therefore, the real root of the doctors' objection to the scheme is solicitude for their patients, they may safely dispel their fears. * * * *