As many of you may know I am a Brit who is married to an American Girl, so have a better understanding of what A National Health Service is
and what it does , so for the next three posts I would like to take the opportunity to highlight The good, The Bad and The Ugly" from the health care between the two systems as I perceive them. The three posts are 1. British National Health Service, 2. US Health Care
and 3. Can America Change it's health care and My own ideas for change
The first post is about my perceptions of the strengths and weaknesses of the British Health care System
The British Nation Health Service ( NHS ).
Following the end of World War 11 Under Clement Attlee the dream of From The Cradle To The grave socialism first put forward by
William Henry Beveridge was enacted when the Nationel Health Service Was Created on July 5 1948, which was designed to provide
following three main core principles
1. That it met the needs of everyone
2. That it be free at the point of delivery
3. That it be based on clinical need, not ability to pay
Current Taxation For the Cost Of Health care. It is not easy to define the percentage of tax paid for Heath care in the UK
as the Nation due to it's funding from National Insurance and taxes , But it is estimated at between 8 and 10% of GDP
The British National Health Service
Free at the point of service
No co-pay for
Preventive medicine ( Cancer screening, Heart Disease Screening etc. )
The wages of nurses are comparable to US rates , but Doctors salaries are less than US equivalents
All scripts currently about $10.50 for those liable for payment whatever the cost of the drug
Health care is free at the point of service for all for Family Doctors, Hospitals etc.
Home visits are an accepted part of health care for the elderly and infirm plus visits to children late at night
Because of the stricter requirements for Drug testing and screening by the Government ( Government pays for drugs so much more resistant
to untried untested ) and drug companies find it more difficult to get unproven drugs to be accepted.
Because the NHS is a government run organisation the litigation mentality against health care professionals has not run riot as in other countries notably the US.
Due to it's large bargaining ability the NHS often pays less for the same drugs in the UK than the Joe Worker pays in his Co-Pay payments
without the additional costs to Insurance companies passed on to Insurance Premiums ( can be as low as 15% for the same drug in the US )
The cost of things like an MRI are standard countrywide and not open to abuse of free market forces
The Health trusts in the UK are mainly run at the top by health care professionals not those more suited to big business with MBA's and degrees in Accountancy and Law
Because of the perception of free many health care professionals are complacent and forget that the customer is still paying through taxes
Because the service is free many abuse the system by tying up valuable health care professionals with needless appointments and
using health care as a way to combat loneliness
Because of the constant battle between funding ( taxes ) and needs ( whether genuine or Unnecessary ) the waiting time for those
in genuine need is between 5 and 10 times longer than those who have health care Insurance in the US. This applies to
all sectors from Family Doctors Visits to Hospital Surgery, plus the time allocation for a doctors visit is much much less in the UK.
The Downright UGLY
The place where the NHS falls down more than any other area is because of Underfunding, Overworked Staff and the constant battle between
funding and need, the service is always at breaking point in terms of service, quality.
These are only my own perceptions and many will violently disagree
Sorry about the Non Horsey Post but I thought many might be interested in views by someone who has seen the best and worst of both health care services