How much do you value the NHS?

Should the NHS become a religion? #MSBlog

“As there has been a lot of debate on this blog about different healthcare systems and having MS. Some of you who are passionate about this topic will find this article of interest.”

“If I developed a chronic disease, such as MS, I would definitely want to be looked after in the NHS. That is despite my grumblings about overt rationing and lack of early and quick access to innovations. Being treated as an equal, with access to healthcare considered a basic human right, is something special. We are a social species and looking after the sick is something we need to do as a society.”
“NHS = equality and free at point of access”

The 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, by Danny Boyle, Championing the NHS.

The Economist. The country’s health-care system, under fire at home, is doing better as an export Aug 3rd 2013.

A few excerpts:

…… BRITAIN’S National Health Service has been caricatured as “a national religion” inspiring uncritical attachment. …

… the NHS seen from beyond Britain’s shores looks more impressive than its tattered reputation at home. Many emerging economies are showing renewed interest in the system that was founded by Aneurin Bevan, a Labour politician, in 1948…..

….. the main reason is its status as a “national” enterprise, providing a wide range of services to the entire population, regardless of people’s ability to pay. That aspiration unites governments as diverse as China, India, Mexico and South Africa: they are all trying to forge national health provision from piecemeal set-ups—and spending growing chunks of their GDP on the quest…..

….. At a health conference hosted by KPMG, a services company, in South Africa in July, several speakers from the continent referred to establishing national health services as their “holy grail”. Some countries, like South Africa hope to create an accessible public-health insurance system within the next decade as a symbol of divisions overcome. Others with large populations and tight budgets are attracted to the NHS’s reasonably cheap per-person coverage…..

….. Although many emerging economies also want to hang onto private insurance schemes, they relish the NHS’s emphasis on fairness towards poorer folk……

…… Julio Frenk, a former Mexican health minister now at Harvard, praises the British approach for breaking the link between earnings and health entitlements, a problem for insurance-based systems, because premiums are often linked to wages…..

“Where would you want to get sick?”

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.


    • Yes, unfortunately my government in Lithuania wouldn't pay for me to have Tysabri. 3 months after arriving in the UK the NHS was prepared to pay for it. Thank you NHS you have given me back my life.

  • Anon 2:29 you have got it wrong. The NHS is not free it is paid for by UK tax payers. Those who earn more pay more. The only people who get it free are those who are unemployed or earn too little to pay income tax. This includes a large number of people with MS who live in this country.

    You should be grateful that high earning tax payers, such as Prof G, move to the UK. They may just be paying for your NHS care.

    Socialism only works if there is a mechanism of redistributing money from the rich to the poor; the NHS is a good example of this. I view the NHS as a modern day Robin Hood.

    Having followed this blog for over a year it is clear that Prof G and his colleagues are active and keen supporters of the NHS. I therefore find your comment inappropriate, cynical and lacking in insight.

    • The only people who get it free are those who are unemployed or earn too little to pay income tax ?
      How shallow your argument is, what about the people who find themselves unemployed, but have paid a lifetime of tax for such eventualities ?
      I guess these fall in the 'undeserving poor' category ?
      For Socialism read society, there might be a day when the I'm alright Jacks of this world are truly grateful for the NHS, capatalism is all very well if you can afford it. ( it cuts both ways)

      Regards as always

  • A recent report this week by Prof Don Berwick, US President Barack Obama's former health adviser, said the NHS remained an "international gem" and could be the safest system in the world.
    'Nuff said.

    The fact that the NHS was set up by a fellow Welshman is a huge source of pride to me.

By Prof G



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