The Times view on the 73rd birthday of the NHS: Health and Wealth

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Politicians have lauded the NHS after a difficult year, but continue to dodge questions about its long-term funding


The NHS may be the most celebrated septuagenarian in the world. Britons have applauded it from the doorstep, children have adorned their windows with rainbow drawings to express the nation’s gratitude, and its 73rd birthday is marked by its receipt of the George Cross, a radio address from the Prince of Wales, a programme of street parties, and landmarks from Salisbury Cathedral to the Wembley Arch lighting blue in its honour.

After a punishing year for the health service, those celebrations are richly deserved. Yet amid the panegyrics and paeans emanating from Westminster today, politicians are all too likely to maintain a studied silence, now familiar and immaculately well-rehearsed, on the more difficult questions about the NHS’s long-term future. They are, in particular, wont to

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