- The UK’s National Health
Service (NHS) is a government-sponsored system where people are
entitled to healthcare without cost at the point of
- Here, author Jennifer Still, an American living in the
UK, lays out five reasons why she believes the NHS is
“superior” to the healthcare
system in the US.
When I lived in the US, I rarely went to the doctor. I didn’t
have work-provided health insurance and I couldn’t afford any of
the plans with exceptionally
high premiums offered to individuals on the marketplace.
This meant that my “insurance” plan, like many other Americans,
was “don’t get sick.”
It’s a frightening and somewhat depressing reality to live with,
but that reality has shifted greatly since I moved to the UK a few
years ago as the partner of a British citizen.
The UK’s National Health
Service (NHS) is alive and, while not completely well, a vital
part of the lives of the millions who live here.
Here are five ways I’ve found that the NHS is superior
to the US healthcare system:
Its government-sponsored healthcare is dependent on need, not your
ability to pay.
Whether you’re unemployed or in a high income bracket, everyone
is entitled to healthcare
at the point of use without cost.
While many could argue that we do “pay” for healthcare in the
form of National Insurance contributions, these are generally taken
from our paychecks directly before we even realize they’re gone and
in many cases are even waived for those under a certain income
This means that regardless of your situation, you can go to the
doctor when you need to and hopefully get the advice, care, or
medication you need without worrying about whether or not you can
actually afford to pay for it.
A visit to the emergency room or a lengthy hospital stay won’t
I found this out when I broke my ankle unexpectedly and, as it
was a trimalleolar fracture, it required surgery and a multiple-day
I stressed for much of the visit, used to the American way of
receiving bills for multiple thousands of dollars that there’d be
no way I could ever repay.
When I was discharged from the hospital three days after my
surgery with several weeks worth of medication and a set of
crutches to help me on my way, I wasn’t handed a bill, nor was I
sent one later. The NHS covered it all.
Prescriptions are either free or capped at £8.60.
It’s an unfortunate fact that at some point in our lives, we’ll
all need medication, whether temporary or more long-term.
In America, if you don’t have great health insurance which
includes prescription coverage, purchasing drugs prescribed to you
by your doctor could be crippling or even impossible.
That’s not an issue in the UK, where many residents are
eligible for free prescriptions and everyone else, no matter
how much money they make or don’t make, pays
no more than £8.60 (roughly $10.85 USD).
If you’re going to be on medication long-term, you can even
apply for a PPC, or prescription prepayment certificate, which
could save you hundreds per year.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News
As an American living in the UK, here are 5 ways Britain's National Health Service is superior to US healthcare