Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Doctor's Dilemma, The (1948)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

The page of a calendar indicating the date, Monday 5th July, fills the screen. "From this date", the voice-over announces, the new National Health Service (NHS) will provide "hospitals and special services, medicines, drugs and appliances, care of teeth and eyes, and maternity services". The voice-over, accompanied by step-by-step visual instructions, instructs the viewer how to register with a family doctor. Each instruction appears as words on the screen. "Have you chosen your family doctor? If not ask your doctor now if he'll look after you under the new scheme". An image of a woman with a small boy in a doctor's surgery is followed by another of a different woman walking towards the Post Office. "If he can't accept you," the voice-over continues, "ask at the Post Office for the address of the Executive Council where you will be given the names of other doctors in your area who are taking part in the new service". The voice-over explains how to obtain the necessary registration form, which appears on the screen, and how to fill it in. The film ends with an urgent reminder to "Choose your doctor now".