National Health Service


National Health Service

The National Health Service (NHS) is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom. Only the English NHS is officially called the National Health Service, the others being NHS Scotland and NHS Wales. Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland is called the HSC rather than the NHS. Each system operates independently, and is politically accountable to the relevant government: the Scottish Government, Welsh Government, the Northern Ireland Executive, or the UK government.

Despite their separate funding and administration, there is no discrimination when a resident of one country of the United Kingdom requires treatment in another although a patient will often be returned to their home area when they are fit to be moved. The financial and administrative consequences are dealt with by the organisations involved and no personal involvement by the patient is required.

Treatment of persons not resident in the United Kingdom is subject to mostly uniform arrangements made by or delegated to the UK Department of Health rather than any individual health service. Foreign nationals always receive treatment free at the time of use for emergencies. Treatment for injuries caused in a road traffic accident has been chargeable since the 1930s but such charges were not generally enforced until the Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999 came into force to direct the charges to the insurers of the vehicles involved; this necessarily involves patients in the charging process even though they are not personally billed for treatment. Foreign nationals also receive free treatment if they have been legally resident in the UK for 12 months, have recently arrived to take up permanent residence, are claiming asylum or have other legal resident status. Citizens of European Economic Area nations, as well as those from countries with which the UK has a reciprocal arrangements, are also entitled to free treatment by using the European Health Insurance Card.[1][2] Foreign nationals may be subject to an interview to establish their nationality and residence status, which must be resolved before non-emergency treatment can commence. Patients who do not qualify for free treatment are asked to pay in advance, or to sign a written undertaking to pay.

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See also

References

Further reading

  • Gorsky, Martin. "The British National Health Service 1948-2008: A Review of the Historiography," Social History of Medicine, Dec 2008, Vol. 21 Issue 3, pp 437-460
  • Hacker, Jacob S. "The Historical Logic of National Health Insurance: Structure and Sequence in the Development of British, Canadian, and U.S. Medical Policy," Studies in American Political Development, April 1998, Vol. 12 Issue 1, pp 57-130
  • Rivett G C From Cradle to Grave - the first 50 years of the NHS. King's Fund, London, 1998
  • Stewart, John. "The Political Economy of the British National Health Service, 1945-1975: Opportunities and Constraints," Medical History, Oct 2008, Vol. 52 Issue 4, pp 453-470
  • Valier, Helen K. "The Manchester Royal Infirmary, 1945-97: a microcosm of the National Health Service," Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 2005, Vol. 87 Issue 1, pp 167-192
  • Webster, Charles. "Conflict and Consensus: Explaining the British Health Service," Twentieth Century British History, April 1990, Vol. 1 Issue 2, pp 115-151
  • Webster, Charles. Health Services since the War. 'Vol. 1:' Problems of Health Care. The National Health Service before 1957 (1988) 479pp

External links


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Look at other dictionaries:

  • National Health Service — noun In Britain, the system under which medical, dental, etc treatment is available free, or at a nominal charge, to all, paid for out of public taxation • • • Main Entry: ↑nation * * * noun the National Health Service : the public system of… …   Useful english dictionary

  • National Health Service — National Health .Service n the National Health Service the NHS the state system for providing health care in Britain, paid for by taxes …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • National Health Service — n a government organization in Great Britain that provides at public expense all hospital, medical, dental, and related supportive or ancillary services and appliances and prescription drugs …   Medical dictionary

  • National Health Service — Logo des NHS (England) Eingang eines Krankenhauses des NHS …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • National Health Service — (abbr the NHS) the British public service providing medical care that is paid for mainly by the government. British people have strong feelings about its importance, and it is always one of the top political issues in Britain. The National Health …   Universalium

  • National Health Service — N PROPER: the N In Britain, the National Health Service is the state system for providing medical care. It is paid for by taxes. An increasing number of these treatments are now available on the National Health Service …   English dictionary

  • National Health Service — El National Health Service (NHS, en español Servicio Nacional de Salud) es el organismo financiado públicamente de salud pública, encargado de las prestaciones de medicina preventiva y curativa de la mayoría de la población del Reino Unido.… …   Wikipedia Español

  • National Health Service — Le National Health Service (NHS) est le système de santé public du Royaume Uni. Cette organisation fournit l essentiel des soins depuis la médecine générale aux salles d urgence des hôpitaux, les soins longue durée aux soins dentaires. Il a été… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • National Health Service — (NHS)    The publicly funded system of health provision which provides the majority of medical assistance in the UK. Established by Labour in 1948, the NHS was for many years widely regarded as one of the most effective and comprehensive system… …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

  • National Health Service — (in Britain) a comprehensive service offering therapeutic and preventive medical and surgical care, including the prescription and dispensing of medicines, spectacles, and medical and dental appliances. Exchequer funds pay for the services of… …   Medical dictionary


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