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National Health Service: Cycles of Reform

The UK's National Health Service (NHS) has undergone periodic reforms during its lifetime. Formed more than half a century ago, it's an extremely large organisation that serves its nation well, and is highly valued. Life without the NHS now seems inconceivable.

Yet with each successive change of government the NHS is reformed and 'modernised' time and time again. Many NHS staff members are complaining that there is so much change and so little stability due to political reforms that the service is in danger.

Ironically, the politicians who introduce reform in order to improve the service are seen as the cause of many of the service's problems. This is not so hard to believe.

NHS birth chart

Astrologically, the NHS's chart shows an over-abundance of Uranian themes. Uranus is on the IC, at the very foundation of the service, showing that it is built on equality of access and human rights for all, but also that it is fundamentally predisposed to change.

The chart is criss-crossed by opposition aspects, and each end of these oppositions is at right-angles to other oppositions. There is a predominance of tense aspects, showing on one level that this organisation is biased towards action and doing, but on another level that there is a great deal of conflict within it.

There is much to commend in this chart, and it's a very complex chart overall; it's important to keep in mind though that it needs to be such, because it represents a service that caters to more than 60 million residents plus visitors to the UK - an amazingly complex operation.

This is certainly a benevolent institution that deserves to be as valued as it is. Perhaps the politicians should respect it more than they appear to.

Every 28-30 years Saturn completes one orbit around the Sun. At the time of writing Saturn has been traversing Cancer, across the NHS's Sun. This is a time of reckoning up, of restructuring things to go on a solid foundation for the next 30-year cycle.

This year (2004) Tony Blair's government is pushing forward controversial plans to restructure the NHS by dismantling more than 50 years of a successful format. Apparently this is due to funding issues, however the amount of cash available to be ploughed into the EU and the so-called 'War on Terror' would seem to contradict that claim.

The proposed changes are overwhelmingly opposed by the NHS staff, and a great proportion of the public but it seems that both of those facts are irrelevant. The changes are seen as the greatest since the NHS's founding in 1948. The last time such a comparison was made was 30 years ago, in 1974/5 when Saturn was last in Cancer conjunct the NHS's Sun.

At that time - as now - the Labour government was locked in ideological conflict with the medical profession. The government introduced a whole new layer of management and bureaucracy, based around planning and resource allocation. The whole new system was meant to be more efficient, but it just crippled the service. Will the present Labour government make the same mistake?

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