An inspiration to many of the current generation of GPs, Dr Julian Tudor Hart's career was characterised by a passion for public service and his pioneering research, both of which still resonate hugely in modern general practice.
Politically a true ‘red', he spent 30 years as a GP in a South Wales mining community, and was even elected to represent the communist party on local councils, before later toning down his leftism slightly to join the Labour party. He is perhaps best known for in 1971 describing the ‘inverse care law', under which patients with the greatest need receive the poorest quality healthcare, particularly where health economies are subject to market forces.
His anti-market stance is echoed in the BMA's current anti-privatisation campaign, and in the concerns of many GPs over the fragmentation of primary care. The author of many books on health policy, he is credited with being the first doctor to routinely measure blood pressure and showed it was possible to reduce premature mortality in high-risk patients by almost 30%.
What he said
'Nye Bevan liberated doctors from having to depend on patients' fees. GPs remained outside the NHS because they owned part of the service, and of course it's irrational to run primary care from a collection of little shops. But on the other hand, it might be better than them working from a Tesco or Walmart.'Dr Julian Tudor Hart Top 50 most influential GPs
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