There would have been an increasing need for cooperation between public bodies and representatives of the medical profession whether or not a Na­ tional Health Service had been introduced: on the issues of the number and distribution of general and specialist practitioners, on the cost and avail­ ability of medical services, and on the most effective means of ensuring the highest quality of medical care. The medical profession has become more intimately involved in questions of public policy as specialized medicine has developed; and at the same time society has become increasingly interested in the availability of health services, and thus in the intentions of the medi­ cal profession. But control of the means of practice by the state, whether through a scheme of insurance, prepayment, nationalization, or by any other means, adds a further dimension: an acute and immediate need to formalize and codify professional advice.