National Health Service
Usually termed in the United Kingdom the NHS. Founded in 1948 and now the English NHS, the Scottish NHS, the Welsh NHS (although this shares most of its regulations with the English NHS) and Northern Ireland NHS. It is a generally available and free at the point of delivery health service funded from general taxation, rather than through social insurance schemes (National Insurance in the UK would be regarded in most other countries as a general tax as its rate bears no relationship to the state benefits that result).
The NHS is the fourth largest employer in the world, after the Chinese People's Liberation Army (2.3 million), Wal-Mart (1.8 million)and the Indian State Railway (1.4 million). The NHS employs c. 1.3 million people.
NHS expenditure as a proportion of UK GDP reached 9.6% in 2006 (OHE 2007). This was in line with the previous Prime Minister's (1997-2007) expressed wish that UK expenditure on Health should reach the European average.
There is little doubt as to the influence of politics on the NHS. An illustration is provided by the observation that small hospitals are more likely to be preserved in marginal political constituencies. This is postulated to be because a decision to close a hospital is likely to have election implications for the sitting MP only in marginal constituencies
- ↑ Royal Commission on the National Health Service Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London 1979
- ↑ a b Gaynor M, Laudicella M, Propper C. Can governments do it better? Merger mania and hospital outcomes in the English NHS. Centre for Market and Public Organisation Jan 2012, Bristol Institute of Public Affairs, University of Bristol, 2 Priory Road, Bristol BS8 1TX