- National Health Service
The National Health Service (NHS) is the shared name of three of the four publicly funded healthcare systems in the United Kingdom. They provide a comprehensive range of health services, the vast majority of which are free at the point of use to residents of the United Kingdom. Only the English NHS is officially called the National Health Service, the others being NHS Scotland and NHS Wales. Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland is called the HSC rather than the NHS. Each system operates independently, and is politically accountable to the relevant government: the Scottish Government, Welsh Government, the Northern Ireland Executive, or the UK government.
Despite their separate funding and administration, there is no discrimination when a resident of one country of the United Kingdom requires treatment in another although a patient will often be returned to their home area when they are fit to be moved. The financial and administrative consequences are dealt with by the organisations involved and no personal involvement by the patient is required.
Treatment of persons not resident in the United Kingdom is subject to mostly uniform arrangements made by or delegated to the UK Department of Health rather than any individual health service. Foreign nationals always receive treatment free at the time of use for emergencies. Treatment for injuries caused in a road traffic accident has been chargeable since the 1930s but such charges were not generally enforced until the Road Traffic (NHS Charges) Act 1999 came into force to direct the charges to the insurers of the vehicles involved; this necessarily involves patients in the charging process even though they are not personally billed for treatment. Foreign nationals also receive free treatment if they have been legally resident in the UK for 12 months, have recently arrived to take up permanent residence, are claiming asylum or have other legal resident status. Citizens of European Economic Area nations, as well as those from countries with which the UK has a reciprocal arrangements, are also entitled to free treatment by using the European Health Insurance Card. Foreign nationals may be subject to an interview to establish their nationality and residence status, which must be resolved before non-emergency treatment can commence. Patients who do not qualify for free treatment are asked to pay in advance, or to sign a written undertaking to pay.
- Department of Health (United Kingdom)
- Scottish Government Health and Social Care Directorates
- History of the National Health Service (England)
- History of NHS Scotland
- History of NHS Wales
- ^ "NHS charges for people from abroad". Citizens Advice. http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/index/your_family/health/nhs_charges_for_people_from_abroad.htm. Retrieved 2010-11-16.
- ^ "Bilateral healthcare agreement countries". UK Department of Health. http://www.dh.gov.uk/en/Healthcare/Entitlementsandcharges/OverseasVisitors/Browsable/DH_074391. Retrieved 2011-07-22.
- Gorsky, Martin. "The British National Health Service 1948-2008: A Review of the Historiography," Social History of Medicine, Dec 2008, Vol. 21 Issue 3, pp 437-460
- Hacker, Jacob S. "The Historical Logic of National Health Insurance: Structure and Sequence in the Development of British, Canadian, and U.S. Medical Policy," Studies in American Political Development, April 1998, Vol. 12 Issue 1, pp 57-130
- Rivett G C From Cradle to Grave - the first 50 years of the NHS. King's Fund, London, 1998
- Stewart, John. "The Political Economy of the British National Health Service, 1945-1975: Opportunities and Constraints," Medical History, Oct 2008, Vol. 52 Issue 4, pp 453-470
- Valier, Helen K. "The Manchester Royal Infirmary, 1945-97: a microcosm of the National Health Service," Bulletin of the John Rylands University Library of Manchester, 2005, Vol. 87 Issue 1, pp 167-192
- Webster, Charles. "Conflict and Consensus: Explaining the British Health Service," Twentieth Century British History, April 1990, Vol. 1 Issue 2, pp 115-151
- Webster, Charles. Health Services since the War. 'Vol. 1:' Problems of Health Care. The National Health Service before 1957 (1988) 479pp
- NHS Choices official website for England's NHS
- NHS Local digital services for NHS staff and the public in the West Midlands
- The first 60 years of the NHS a teaching resource on the NHS in England
- Health Direct blog- NHS news, advice and information on the National Health Service
- Birth of the national Health Service BBC archive collection of programmes and documents
- The NHS at 60, BBC News, 2008
- Celebrating 60 years of the NHS in Scotland
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