Aims of the Socialist Medical Association

  • The Socialist Medical Association exists to defend and extend the National Health Service.
  • Formed in 1930, the SMA affiliated to the Labour Party. Within twelve months, the policy of creating a National Health Service was Labour Party Policy.
  • When Nye Bevan was charged by the 1945-50 Labour Government with the organisation of the NHS, the SMA played a full part in advising and supporting the Minister.
  • Since 1948 the SMA has continued to work for a truly socialist health service, believing that the health of the people is the concern of the people themselves.
  • The SMA is organised in geographical branches and professional groups, which organise conferences, look into local problems, and supply speakers to Labour Party, Trade Union and Co-operative organisations. Branches affiliate to their local Labour Parties and play a full part in the struggle to create a socialist Britain.
  • Nationally, the SMA runs regular day conferences, publishes pamphlets on a wide range of subjects affecting the people’s health and gives evidence to Royal Commissions on subjects affecting health. It also sends delegates to Labour Party Conference and the Labour Women’s Conference and arranges its own meetings at these conferences.


  • A health service free at the time of use.
  • The abolition of all private practice within the NHS as an immediate objective and, in the longer term, the abolition of all private practice in this country.
  • Speedy democratisation of the NHS involving the dismantling of the Tory “managerial” structure.
  • The creation of an Occupational Health Service as an integral part of the NHS.
  • The nationalisation of the manufacturing, distributive, and retail sections of the pharmaceutical industry.
  • A whole-time salaried service throughout all sections of the NHS.
  • More-and more comprehensive-health centres.
  • Re-orientation of the NHS to emphasise prevention and towards community-based services as opposed to a “hospital-dominated” service.
  • Greatly increased activity in the field of Health Education aimed at preventable illnesses and injury and in favour of positive health as opposed to mere absence of illness; creating systems by which patients are counselled and advised by all NHS personnel, particularly to reduce dependence on drugs.
  • Freely available advice and facilities throughout the country for birth control, abortion and sterilisation.

MEMBERSHIP OF THE SMA is open to every socialist who cares about the health of the people, whether employed in the NHS or not, and to all organisations in the Labour, Trade Union and Co-operative movements. We need the help of every socialist in the creation of a comprehensive, socialist health service.

Issued in October 1980 to mark the 50th anniversary of the foundation of the Socialist Medical Association