The NHS: Beginning, Middle and End?: the Autobiography of Dr. John Marks

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Radcliffe Publishing, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 279 pages
John Marks is something of a national treasure. Warm, funny, passionate, opinionated and occasionally contrary, he is a man whose life for more than 40 years marched in beat with that of the National Health Service. There is scarcely a medical issue or controversy in which John Marks was not involved. Abortion law reform, the doctors' 1970s revolt against the General Medical Council, the foundation of the Royal College of General Practitioners, countless NHS reorganizations, and the bloody battle over NHS pay beds and the pay of junior doctors are just a sample.Then there was the fierce, principled battle over how the medical profession and the public should respond to the terror of a new disease - AIDS. And the great war that was fought over the Conservatives introduction of market forces into the NHS in the late 1980s and early 1990s - an approach to running the NHS that lives on, reincarnated, under the current Labor government.In all of these John Marks played more than a walk-on part. In many he was a principal actor. For anyone wanting fully to understand the BMA's role in all this, this book is thus required reading. But it is much more than just a dry history of times past. It is laced with anecdote, from the horrifying to the hilarious, and on to high politics. John Marks' account of his life and times provides the tale of a warm, human, liberal and occasionally buccaneering man whose passion for life and causes leaves even those who do not always agree with him eager to count him among their friends.
 

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Contents

19251943 My childhood and life as an evacuee
1
University and the army
13
From lorry driver to principal in general practice
33
My involvement in abortion law reform
43
I get further involved in medical politics
50
I get started in medical politics at the national level
57
A Royal College an academic approach and a doctorate
70
Early attempts at NHS reform and heart transplants
78
Two crises and one election
139
Princess Diana opens the library and I have a rough ARM
153
The approaching storm
166
A storm breaks The White Paper
178
The profession rejects the Reforms
189
The campaign continues
203
The Bill and reactions to it
211
The campaign continues mysterious faxes and the Oxford debate
215

An outdated constitution and Sir Paul Chambers report
83
I become involved in national negotiations
90
I appear before a disciplinary body and I lose some friends
101
I represent the profession at home and abroad
108
AIDS and the BMA
117
A Royal sesquicentennial year
124
International problems and political speculation
133
My last few months in the chair
222
I am a past Chairman
230
A variety of activities including boxing and lecturing and a disputed SRM
238
Doctors in the Dock
251
A quiet retirement a general election and a question mark
260
Index
267
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Former chairman of the British Medical Association

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