The NHS (National Health Service) was created in 1948
It is a Government-funded medical and health care service that everyone living in the UK can use without being asked to pay the full cost of the service.
These services include:
- Visiting a doctor or a nurse at a doctor’s surgery
- Getting help and treatment at a hospital if you are unwell or injured
- Seeing a midwife if you are pregnant
- Getting urgent help from healthcare professionals working in the ambulance services if you have serious or life-threatening injuries or health problems – this might include being transported to a hospital
The NHS was set up so that everybody shared the burden of paying for health services offered by doctors, nurses, midwives, and dentists, rather than the costs coming directly from ill or injured people. People often refer to these health services as ‘free at the point of use (or delivery)’. This means that any UK resident can, for example, go and see a doctor who will offer a diagnosis or treatment for an illness without asking the individual to pay for this service during or after the visit. Instead, most health care services are ‘publicly funded’, which means money has been allocated by the government to pay for this visit to the doctor. Most of the money is collected through UK residents paying taxes.
More information can be found on the NHS website