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Margaret Thatcher becomes Prime Minister

Margaret Thatcher became the first female Prime Minister on 4 May 1979. Her manifesto made a number of commitments to health care reform and suggested the Conservative government would simplify and decentralise the health service to cut back bureaucracy.

She also committed to allowing pay beds (private beds within NHS hospitals), restoring tax relief on employer-employee medical insurance schemes, and to ending 'Labour's vendetta against the private health sector'.


Margaret Thatcher Foundation.
Conservative General Election Manifesto 1979 [webpage].
Margaret Thatcher Foundation; 2019.