This paper will analyze and compare the British National Health Service (NHS) with the healthcare that takes place in the United States. As the system in the United States is not really a system, but a number of private companies and some government organizations used by people either privately or through employment, this paper will only be making very broad comparisons. Additionally, as this paper is short, this comparison will be very brief and superficial in scope rather than the comprehensive study that may be needed at a later time. This paper will start with brief history of the NHS and then move into the comparison and analysis.
History of the British National Health Service
The British National Health Service (NHS) is a publicly-funded healthcare system which provides the majority of healthcare for those in the United Kingdom, ranging from general practitioner care and Emergency Departments to long-term care and dentistry (National). Unlike other public healthcare systems in Europe, it pays directly for healthcare expenses, with a few minor exceptions, and also employs the doctors and nurses providing these services, and in most cases, owns the hospitals and clinics in which care is given. General Practitioners are private practitioners under contract to the NHS. Under a new General Medical Service (GMS) contract, which came into being in April 2004, GPs now get paid a regular income for working 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday, with no out-of-hours work and earn 80,000 Pounds Sterling.
The NHS was established in 1948 with services provided free at the point of care, and everyone was eligible (National). The system was financed by central taxation. It provided hospital services, primary care and community services. In the 1950s, it was extended to cover mental health. The NHS was reorganized in 1974 to bring together services provided by hospitals and local authorities under Regional Health Authorities, and...