Is national heath service in the UK REALLY better than the health care in the US?

A friend of mind moved to the UK and got married a few years ago. Recently she went to the doctor for a pain in her reproductive areas and they put her on a waiting list for a month and a half to get an ultra sound A week or so later she was rushed to the hospital and almost died of a tubal pregnancy. That would…

If the NHS is better than US health care your country has Serious problems

If you compare the NHS to the 1/2 of the population in the US that have average health care coverage or above then no it is not as good.

If you are one of the 1/2 with no coverage or basic coverage – you would swap for the NHS.

You say that you would have been seen in the US in around 3 days – so I am assuming you are one with health coverage – would it have been 3 days had you not? Probably not so the same thing would have happened in the US and here in the UK for someone without coverage. The only difference being your friend wasn’t saddled with a bill that she couldn’t really have afforded.

However the health care system in the UK can be part state (NHS) and part private meaning that we can have the best of both words.

Your friend living in the UK has the option of insurancether a monthly insurence policy like the US (Bupa is about £120 a month for a couple) or pay for private consultations as and when required. Many doctors and consultants have set private days each week. So your friend could have seen a doctor sooner had she had paid. That is similar to the US.

Although it doesn’t bother me being in the UK – the problem with the US health care is the vast profits that the companies make at the expense of the citizens of the US whilst the poor do I die. Profits that are used in Washington to contribute to politicians that fail to make any changes.

Do you realise how many senators recieving funding from either health or drug companies? All except 4 I believe

Do you realise that drugs from US companies are twice the price in the US that we pay here in the UK? Also they are 1/2 the price in Victoria (Canada) which is 60 miles from Seattle? What does that tell you?

Why is health coverage approx $12,000 a year for a family? How much actually goes on health coverage and opperating costs compared to profits and lobbying expences? Which is almost 15x as much as private healthcare in the UK.

As a brit I am proud of our NHS and what it stands for – however as a realist I also use private insurence to protect my family and I honestly believe that is the best way and something that the US can learn from.

It is not about taxing the people more but insuring that the profits that health insurence and drug companies make are used to prevent and treat all the people.

There was a TV show on the BBC last week about the health care in the US – did you realise that a charity (link below) set up to help 3rd world contries with medical aid now spends over 60% of its donations in the US. It also showed a woman with cancer living in a tent so she could afford drugs – that would not happen in the UK. But most bizzarly there was a secret Walmart video showing it’s execs telling some of the staff that it had used its funds via a PAC to pay for a breakfast with important people so that they could infulence a decission not to pay healthcare costs for their staff and they got a huge clap!!! What – these employees where cheering the fact that they paid money so that their company didnt have to pay health care.

I am a UK resident and I don’t know a lot about the US system. The UK system relies on the principle of “free at the point of delivery”, i.e. no-one will be denied treatment at any NHS facility for the lack of money. On a simple measure like life expectancy, the UK system works better than the US. UK is in position 37, the USA in 45. This is in spite of the fact that the US is a much larger and more prosperous economy. A more interesting comparison is with Canada, which has a similar principle of services based upon need not the ability to pay, and is a much stronger economy than the UK, is in position 14.

Clearly someone has to pay the bills and that is the UK tax payer. There are however private health providers who may offer some treatments which are not available on the NHS. However, the principle reason form opting for private health care is to have treatments at times which better suit the patient (some would say queue jumping) and the use of a private room and better services, not to improve on treatments.

An exception to the rule of free at the point of delivery is dentistry, and although there are NHS dentists, these are not free and charges must be paid for at time of treatment. However these charges are fixed and considerably lower than private dental treatment. My recent course of dentistry treatment was two fillings and an extraction and clean and polishing and this cost £44.60. I would probably have paid over £200 if I had the treatment privately.

Yes it is. While women don’t see a gynaecologist just for the sake of seeing one, we can go to a Well Woman clinic at our doctors which is usually held once a week.

Your friend was unlucky, this is very rare for doctors to miss something like this.

I had an ovarian cyst and was tested for etopic pregnancy first and foremost. I was sent to hospital and stayed there until they found out what was wrong with me, my cyst was well monitored until it was removed and my surgeon and doctor were always on hand to answer my many many questions.

Women are contacted through the post to go for smear tests at least every 3 years and the NHS has also introduced an innoculation for teenage girls to prevent HPV which is the number one cause of cervical cancer.

Women all over the world have hysterectomies. It isn’t because of lazy doctors.

To answer your point about the dentists, you have to have to be registered with an NHS dentist. My dentist practice is in the same health centre as my doctors. This is a newer trend and it works very well.

As to your point about taxes. Where would the government get the money for health care otherwise? We may have to pay National Insurance but that covers every thing from health care, insurance for if we lose our jobs, and even our government pensions in our old age.

I know it is is illegal for life saving treatment to be denied to anyone in the US, but insurance companies are there to make money. They are not government run. Over here we don’t need to wait for insurance companies to decide on the best course of treatment for us. Our doctors decide that.

Edit: And thats another thing, kids from all over Britain get to go to University or College no matter how poor they are.

There is no the big rich/poor divide.

I can honestly say I don’t know.
I have been trying to find out for ages, the problem is I cant find an average cost of the USA medicare insurance, it differs so much in each state.
Yes we do all pay National insurance in the UK to cover health care , if we are working.We look after our elderly folk , they have already contributed to this insurance.
Now you are telling me (us) that USA will provide treatment even if no payment is guaranteed ?
Maybe a quick patch up job?
I am a Scot , I have lived and worked in USA, and worked overseas with many Americans, I have enjoyed the company of all of them.
But I hear so many different stories on this subject that I am totally confused!
Your question isn’t really about relative cost but rather about relative service , I cant fault your question I just (for some reason ) suspect your findings.
Please do not think that I am being ‘hostile; I’m not, I’m as interested as you you are.
Problem is we are’nt going to be able to do that are we?

Who go’s to the Gyno for the sake of going? LOL that is the most ridiculous statement i have ever heard in my life Going to the gyno once a year is essential to a woman’s health. I would rather pay than to have to wait. Insurance in the US is like a couple 100 dollars a month for one person at the most. I spend more than that drinking when i go out.

Wow poop pants you sure know a lot about the US LOL. I am black and my family is not from the ghettos, nor are they being forced to stay in ghettos. Its not the 1960’s anymore. Its the year 2009 hasn’t anybody told you? There are poor neighborhoods all through out the US and people of every ethnicity live in poor neighborhoods. Do not turn our health care system into something about race just to point an ugly finger at America.

EDIT- Thats really funny because my boyfriend is English & he lives in London. He works with student loans. Higher Education is no longer free in the UK. He said you all got that idea from us yanks 🙂

We pay taxes, but that tax money goes into everything, from maintaining the roads, to the National Health Service, to taking away and dealing with our waste.
I’ll give you an example of why the NHS is better than America’s Healthcare system.
Say you’re a quite poor family. You can’t afford health insurance. Dad’s holding down 2 part time jobs to pay for the car he has to run back and forth from those jobs. Mom has to stay home because she’s just had a baby, and obviously needs to take care of it. In the house there’s a 4 year old girl, and a 10 year old boy. The girl likes dolls, the boy likes skateboarding.
So say one day the 10 year old boy breaks his arm skate-boarding? You have no health insurance, but the kids arm needs fixing. So you take him to the hospital, they set his arm for you, and then at the end hand you a bill. It has cost you $9,000. Where do you get the money from in that situation?

Same thing happens in the UK. Boy breaks his arm. Goes to the hospital. They set it, with just as many x-rays and so on and what does it cost you? Nothing.

The NHS is crap for if you have money. Yes you have to wait but sometimes the other option is worse. If you have money in the UK, you can go private, get yourself booked in to BUPA and get your surgery or whatever that bit quicker. But if you have no money, well, at least you can still afford to get your kids arm fixed.

Yes, the US hospitals will give you treatment whatever, but sometimes that’s the difference between your kids going to college or not.

I have a document that says 50 Americans die every day because they have no health insurance. It gives instances where such people have been taken out onto the street and left there. I cannot find the document at present but this site shows that 2 people die every day in Pennsylvania for that reason.…

The UK National Health Service has problems, just like any other large organisation. Its biggest claim is that anyone is entitled to emergency treatment, free at the point of delivery. In many cases, this also applies to non-emergency treatment.

Yeah, but you go bankrupt in the US if you get medical care. Is that right?

You are not entitled to prompt and efficient medical care. Americans demanded it in hospitals and they got it…along with huge bills. If you can’t get hired anywhere else, a hospital will hire you here with the right classes. They don’t ever stop hiring. As long as they can extort their patients, why cap bills?

Unfortunately, this will come to an end soon, and Americans will wish they were in the UK or Canada. Whereas the other countries had their spending under control, America will find out they didn’t.

your point is well made. and your observations correct. but your reasoning is wrong. its not the system that’s at fault. we pay in ample money to the NHS. however Britain faces a silent killer disease. a disease so powerfull, so foul and disarming that the wonderfull NHS is struggling to cope with it…..its called parliament. identified by the liars and deceivers that spew in and out of it to the subsidised bars on a daily basis. for every pound the British people pay in to the NHS 50p actually gets there. the rest is embezzled into the private sector in which the foul disgusting low life parasites we laughingly refer to as Right Honourable MPs, feed…….(rather like pigs to a trough)…. then WHEN!! that 50p ,which has struggled like an exhausted salmon to reach its breeding ground, has finally got there it is subject to being ripped apart within a free for all in which 80% of it is distributed among useless parasitic management and an attempt to treat the entire worlds sic, as they arrive staggering over our borders. so we are left with about 20% of it sweating and struggling to do the job it was first designed to do. take care of the health and welfare of the British people SO! in conclusion, the long suffering NHS along with the long suffering British people, are victims of a political two party system which has been bleeding Britain dry for far too long.

Hi Sam,

As someone who has lived in both the USA and the UK, my opinion is this…

If I were poor and had no private insurance, I’d rather get sick in the UK. If I were employed in the US and had a good private health care plan, I’d rather be sick in the USA.

It really is that simple. Hope this helps. Cheers, mate.

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