Johnson has been quarantined at his home since being diagnosed with COVID-19 late last month. The United Kingdom has 52,276 known cases of COVID-19, including 5,373 deaths.
Like many Britons, health care is provided by the National Health Service, a comprehensive government-run health provider. This agency is one of the most sacred aspects of British life and can be a sensitive subject among politicians.
Following is a brief breakdown of the NHS.
What is National Health Service?
The NHS was established after World War II with the premise that health care must be available to the masses regardless of whether they can afford to pay or not. It consists of four separate systems serving each of the four countries that make up England – England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
Each operates independently. In total, four agents employ around 1.7 million people, which The BBC reportedly, making it one of the 10 largest companies in the world. In 2017, the NHS spent more than $ 170 billion throughout the UK.
The UK health system provides a variety of services ranging from primary and urgent care to cancer care and child care. Other programs include diabetes prevention and help with learning disabilities.
Is health care free?
NHS offers services to all who live in the UK without being asked to pay the full cost of what is provided. The agency is funded through general taxation, rather than costs that come directly from sick or injured patients.
Most services are free up to the point of use, which means patients generally do not pay for doctor visits and other services. In contrast, millions in the United States remain uninsured and health care costs are the most expensive in the world. (The marriage between the two also leads to mass innovation which fosters very good caring for those who are able.)
Johnson previously requested that patients be charged for using the British system to prevent abuse from people who could afford to pay, according to People in business, who dug in the 1995 column he wrote.
“If NHS services continue to be free in this way, they will continue to be abused, like other free services,” he wrote in Spectator magazine. “If people have to pay for them, they will appreciate it more.”
How is the service?
Waiting time has become a problem with the NHS. More than 4 million people are waiting for non-urgent care in the UK in May 2018 Guardian it was reported, with 3,000 of them waiting for more than a year.
Nearly a quarter million people wait more than six months for planned medical treatment, according to the April 2019 report from the Royal College of Surgeons. In January 2019, nearly 25 percent of cancer patients did not start treatment on time despite urgent referrals from doctors, according to Forbes.
The agency is also struggling to meet the demand for mental health services and face hospital shortages.
How do demographic changes affect the NHS?
The UK population has grown substantially since the start of the National Health Service, to around 66 million. In addition, because life expectancy has increased by 13 years, so does the number of elderly patients dependent on the system.
People live longer with chronic health problems such as dementia and heart disease, putting pressure on the health system. The BBC cites figures that cost more than double the average for people aged 65 years than for someone in their 30s.
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