The National Health Service (NHS) was setup by the government to provide healthcare for all residents of the UK and is funded by public taxes provided and run by a country’s government. The system grants free health care access to every citizen of the country. The exact healthcare services offered to citizens from free may vary from country to country, meaning that there will be some services which require personal expense to be able to access them. However, the vast majority of health services will be provided for free and paid for by national taxation. Many countries offer universal health care today.

National health care is a very broad term that has many possible applications. However, the key feature is the provision of a free health service to citizens of a nation. Systems of this sort require huge sums of money to run. As such countries usually pay for such a system through national taxes which all citizens pay. In exchange for paying these taxes, citizens are then granted free access to the national health system. It is the government’s decision as to who is entitled to health care and what sort of treatments are to be made available on the system. In some systems patients may have to pay for some part of the treatment whilst receiving the rest for free. This is a form of heavily subsidized treatment.

System such as these has been proven to work extremely well in a number of countries around the world. Whilst these systems are inevitably very difficult to manage, the benefits largely outweigh the costs. In recent times medical insurance costs have risen out of reach of the average citizen meaning that many choose to go without insurance every year. The difficulty with this is that if medical treatment does become necessary the costs of such treatment are enough to make a family bankrupt. Opposition to this view states that taxes are levied on those who least need such care.

More often than not, every time you begin with the process of claiming your medical health insurance, it begins with the referral of the friendly General Practitioner, GP. Now this all important GP is going to get more helpful as government’s GPs tsar says that NHS and its patients could save an lot of time and money if they are being treated by the GPs instead of the ‘specialists’. All the GPs specialize in the field or another during their medical training and if they are asked to treat patients instead of referring them to the specialists or consultants’ it would be efficient use of the existing resources. It would mean less pressure of hospitals and more time for them to deal with emergency services and core specialist services.

In the process to make the largest employer in Europe function few more policy changes have taken place. The new regulation will allow National Health Service to recover the costs of medical treatment from insurers in cases where compensation is paid for personal injury. The recognised trade organisation of the health insurance sector the Association of British Insurers made it clear two years ago that it would add a further 5% to the cost of employers’ liability cover for an average business.

The definition of the term affordable is relative so what is affordable for you may not be affordable for me! So affordable will generally cover most of your basic/essential health requirements and for emergency needs the NHS is always there. However, cheap will means that the policy will cover only very few things and might leave some situations out. So while taking an low cost scheme that is offering limited cover, one should insure that his essential requirements are in place.
More often than not in-patient treatment and day-patient treatment will be covered but if you need to consult a specialist as an out-patient, then what will be the procedure or the damages (expenses!) to do that. The range of hospitals that you will go to get treated might also differ with the amount of premiums. So there are little things that can make a big difference in your life. My advice to you is to be careful and stay insured!

NHS: Are We Healthy?

Many people within the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) would recognise that there have been a number of significant improvements to the service over the last few years, but these same people would also recognise that there are many further improvements that could (and need to) be made, especially with so many hospitals facing deficits. This has arisen from a number of projects carried out within the NHS to rapidly improve patient pathways in both elective care and emergency admissions, as well as in administrative functions. The aim of this work have been three fold:

• Significantly improve financial performance
• Maintain or improve standards of care
• Increase, the overall patient experience

Healthy & Sustainable

It is worth stating that many organisations have been able to ‘ram-raid’ hospitals, making short term, low gain and unsustainable improvements that have irritated administrative staff and lost the support of the clinical teams. Therefore, there is a balance to be walked, on the one hand, the need to focus on significant improvements, and on the other hand the need to bring the teams with you as they pass through the process.

Closing Comments

The NHS have made significant improvements over the last few years and the professionals who work within it are performing brilliantly, often with broken processes which cause financial as well as ‘people’ problems. As an example some 65% of complaints received by one hospital were related to delays in the way they handled bookings in outpatients. As previously mentioned there is a balance to maintain, we need to focus on significant improvements alongside working as a team to improve the process.

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