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【The National Health Service of England】(英国のNHS(国民医療サービス)   *要点説明あり

(Contributed by Will)

England’s National Health Service (normally referred to as the ‘NHS’) is one of, if not the most ‘laudable’ health service in the world. Because of it, citizens of the United Kingdom have access to largely free healthcare and medicines – a privilege ‘afforded’ to too-few people on this planet.

The NHS is the largest and oldest of its kind in the world and was founded by left-wing ‘labour’ government in ‘post-war’ UK in 1948. It was founded on the principle of free healthcare for everyone ‘at the point of use’ (which basically means it’s free for a person who has need of it).

It is funded, largely, by taxation (which means that in essence we do pay for our health service but not at the point when we need to actually USE it) and has a current annual budget in the region of £100 billion.

I suffer from a ‘respiratory’ condition known commonly as ‘asthma’ (pronounced ‘ASS – ma’) and it particularly affected me as a kid. This meant I spent a lot of time ‘in and out of’ hospital in my childhood. Because of this I have a very personal view of the NHS as it took care of me during some of my worst times as a kid (in regards to my health). Any time I was hospitalised I was taken care of by extraordinary medical staff working in a publicly-funded hospital, providing treatment which my family did not have to pay for. Sadly, this is not the case for hundreds of millions of children and families around the world and makes me all the more proud of the NHS and grateful for its existence.

However, the situation with the NHS in the UK at the moment is not a ‘bed of roses’. For the past decade, various governments have struggled to fund it and to ensure that it improves and works to the best of its abilities. Only last month we had a ‘strike’ of nearly all medical staff (an incredibly rare occurrence) to protest the government’s changes to the way the NHS works. Many people actually worry that the current ‘Tory’ or ‘Conservative’ government (lead by Prime Minister, David Cameron) want to ‘abolish’ or ‘scrap’ the NHS in favour of a ‘privatised’ service, run by one or more private companies.

Regardless of cost, I believe the NHS should be kept ‘at all costs’ as I believe it is the way ALL health services around the world should operate. I, and many others, hate the notion that you have to pay to get better from an illness or injury and it should be a basic right of a modern citizen to expect free or cheap healthcare. I was surprised recently to discover that in many countries you have to pay if you are taken anywhere in an ambulance – this is an ‘alien concept’ to the British. No one should have to pay for an emergency!









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