In charge of a nation's health
When New Labour came to power in the United Kingdom in 1997 Frank Dobson, member of parliament for Holborn and St Pancras, was appointed secretary of state for health, a post he held for more than two years. As a seasoned politician he is a frequent media commentator on the health service. When Thomas Jaconelli applied to Hull York Medical School he was interviewed by Dobson. Now the tables are turned
- By: Thomas Jaconelli
When the NHS is mentioned on television, it is usually to report that it is in crisis. Opinion polls can throw up conflicting evidence. For example, if you ask people what they think about the NHS generally they are much less impressed with it. But if they are asked specifically how it was for them or their relatives or neighbours, the response is positive.
Most people, in most places, and most of the time, are well treated in the NHS and appreciate the service they receive. However, the media can influence people's perception of the NHS and present it in a negative manner. Also, in the run-up to some pay negotiations, professionals will use the media to expose what they perceive to be shortcomings in the NHS. Pressure groups will quite legitimately make new demands on the NHS—demands that have not been responded to because before this the need had