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Free at the point of use

Posted by Gary Martin on April 04, 2006

In Reply to: Free at the point of use posted by derek law on April 03, 2006

: Does anyone know the earliest/first usage of "free at the point of use". I can get it back to 1994, but that sounds too recent

In the UK this is normally used to describe the National Health Service, and it probably originated with the NHS. The phrase appears in The Times in July 1973 - "...we have a National Health Service which, broadly speaking, is free at the point of use". I'm sure it's older than that though.

It is usually associated with the Beveridge Report, 1942. That promised "free health and rehabilitation services", although "free at the point of use" doesn't appear in the report.