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The National Health Development Organisation (NHDO) was established by the Healey government shortly after its election in 1984. A publicly-funded body, its purpose is twofold.
- It coordinates research, development and the production of new drugs and medical and surgical techniques which it then provides to the National Health Service at cost price.
- It provides older generic medicines and other products to the NHS at a low cost in order to prevent price fixing by private companies which would otherwise waste public money.
It has also adopted and promoted practices originating in other parts of the world.
This is achieved largely by funding research and education in pharmaceutical companies and universities and by providing continuing professional development to healthcare professionals.
- Introduction and widespread adoption of a Male Pill, adopted from Chinese medical research.
- Promotion of female Emergency Contraception.
- Injections to help control obesity.
- Anti-viral medication.
- Free laser eye surgery
- An adhesive for closing wounds and staunching bleeding.
- Expert diagnostic systems to replace certain consultations, which later became available online.
- A euthanasia drug which causes irreversible loss of consciousness without damaging any other organs or depressing the reflexes which keep the body alive.
The NHDO is generally popular but has also led to a number of possibly undesirable trends in healthcare, in particular in connection with the closure of independent opticians, the promotion of a reductivist and impersonal approach to healthcare without addressing emotional issues raised by treatment and most controversially, a connection with the coercive aspects of the social wage policy.