How The United Kingdom’s Health-Care System Works

How The United Kingdom’s Health-Care System Works

Super Tuesday came and went and the Democratic
presidential race is narrowing to two very different candidates, far left Bernie Sanders
and the more moderate Joe Biden. Biden and Sanders have clashed on the best
approach to reforming U.S. health care. Sanders wants to get rid of private insurance
altogether. While Biden proposes building on the framework
left over from Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act. Bernie says that you have to bring people
together and we have to have Medicare for all. But Bernie says and he says he wrote the damn
thing, but he’s unwilling to sell with the damn thing’s gonna cost. The idea middle class taxes aren’t going to
go up is just crazy. What Medicare, after all, will do is save
the average American substantial sums of money. The U.S. already spends more money on health
care than any other developed country. There’s one country that spends less than
half what the U.S. does on health care. And people generally don’t pay anything out
of pocket when they go to the doctor. The United Kingdom and out of all the health
care systems we’ve looked at, the U.K. appears the most socialist. The government effectively runs the whole
thing. Right now, the U.K. is having its own debate
over how to reform the National Health Service. So how does the U.K. system compare to the
U.S. and what reforms may be coming? In 2018, the United States spent around ten
thousand five hundred U.S. dollars on health care for each of its residents. The United Kingdom spent around 4000 U.S.
dollars. That means the United Kingdom spends 9.8 percent
of its GDP on health care, while the U.S. spends 16.9 percent. Despite spending less, the United Kingdom
manages to have healthier citizens who live longer and are less likely to die in childbirth. In 2017, life expectancy in the U.K. was 2.7
years higher than in the U.S., and the U.K. has roughly 1.5 times fewer deaths that could
have been avoided by access to better health care. The infant mortality rate is lower in the
United Kingdom, with 3.9 deaths per 1000 live births as opposed to 5.8 in the United States. And the maternal mortality rate in the U.S.
is nearly 1.5 times higher than in the United Kingdom. So how is the U.K. system structured so that
it gets these results while spending significantly less than the United States system? The National Health Service is a case where
the British decided right after World War 2 that health care should be government’s
job, like paving the streets, putting out fires, running a library, running the parks. That’s T.R. Reid, author of the book The Healing of America. He traveled the world exploring different
countries’ health care systems. It’s a service you get when you need it and
you never get a bill. It’s like going to the library. They don’t charge you to check out a book. He’s saying that the NHS is it’s a risk sharing
system, so everyone pays into it through their tax. If you need to use it, you don’t have to pay
anything else. So in a sense, it’s not free because is paid
as of taxation. Dr. John Puntis is a pediatrician who recently
retired from the NHS. He is also co-chair of an organization called
Keep Our NHS Public. All of his comments are reflective of the
organization and not his personal views. It’s a fair system in that the more money
you earn, the more tax you pay, the more you contribute. But there has been discussion about whether
tax should be increased to pay for sorting the NHS out in terms of the current deficiencies
and problems, and that that is controversial. I think a lot of people favor some tax increase,
but then there are other people who say, well, maybe the focus should be on companies that
don’t pay tax and people who don’t pay tax as the first step. I would call that socialized medicine. Government provides that care. Government pays for the care it’s paid for
through taxes. Everybody’s covered the same. To me that sounds like socialized medicine. The term socialized medicine has become a
political football, especially in the United States. The NHS is socialized medicine. It’s great. And we hear this term mainly coming from the
US where it’s used as a as scaremongering. I would say if the NHS is socialized medicine,
we like it and most people are still very, very supportive of the concept of of of a
national health service. Each of the u.k.’s four constituent countries
have their own branch of the NHS, so rules differ slightly between them. But all of the branches operate under the
purview of the U.K. parliament. There are some services that require patients
to pay something out of pocket, such as dental, eye care and certain prescription drugs. But those fees are low compared to the U.S.
and vary by NHS branch. By one estimate from a data analytics firm,
prescription drugs cost 87 percent less in the U.K. than they do in the U.S. Unlike with
other universal health care systems that are only publicly funded, the government also
runs the NHS. That means doctors that work in public NHS
facilities are employees of the government. Most Britons receive their primary care through
general practitioners who are frequently referred to as GPs. They typically act as gatekeepers for secondary
care. The problem is that people are experiencing
the moment as is taking longer to see your general practitioner. If you want to see them. Most GPs are private contractors with the
NHS. They don’t charge patients for care. Instead, they earn money directly from the
National Health Service. Many GPs negotiate contracts with the NHS
to determine how much they can charge the government for their services. GPs may fund their own general practice facilities
or they can rent them from the NHS or private companies. One paper from the Journal of the Royal Society
of Medicine found that GPs faced many issues because of how general practices are funded
in the U.K. Some GPs, I think increasingly don’t want
to take on the running of business aspects of general practice, and so there are lots
of GPs who are salaried partners, so they are paid by the practice to come in and work
as a GP, but they don’t do any of the business side of this stuff. There’s also a private sector in the u.k.’s
health care system. It’s funded from a combination of out-of-pocket
payments, private health insurance and the NHS itself. The private sector is growing because is being
consciously promoted by government and the boundaries being blurred. But I think the private health care has been
growing at a very rapid, steady pace in the United Kingdom for the course of several decades. That’s going to continue. That’s Nile Gardiner. He’s the director of the Thatcher Center for
Freedom at the Heritage Foundation. With regard to the National Health Service,
I mean, there’s no there’s no sign at this stage that the U.K. will be moving to a different
system to the National Health Service. All British parties all committed to the National
Health Service. I think that’s more or more Britons will be
opting for private healthcare in the coming years and decades, not least because there
are long waiting lists with regard to the National Health Service. And analysis from the London School of Economics
found that in the 2018 to 2019 fiscal year, NHS England spent around 18 percent of its
total expenditure on the independent sector. There’s been a blurring of the boundaries,
if you like. For example, cataract surgery is the most
common operation done under the NHS. Increasingly, it’s being provided in the independent
sector and the NHS, as has contracts with the independent sector to do that work. There are implications in terms of staffing. Private sector doesn’t train its own staff,
it takes it from the NHS. It cherry picks, takes the low risk patients,
not the high risk patients. It has an impact on training NHS staff and
this is one of the problems with cataract surgery. If they’re all going to the private sector,
hospitals and the NHS staff don’t become experienced in doing cataract surgery. And then along the line you find it’s more
difficult to staff your NHS unit. So it’s not without negative consequence. And we are paying private companies increasingly
to do work for the NHS, including American companies. And they’re very well established now, particularly
in the back office functions and providing advice on commissioning support, this kind
of thing. They’re very involved and unfortunately that’s
likely to increase and something which campaigners are extremely worried about. I don’t think anyone really believed that
U.K. voters would decide to Brexit. The news that the United Kingdom voted to
leave the European Union shocked the world. The NHS was a big part of the Brexit media
discourse, with the Leave campaign famously claiming that the U.K. would take back 350
million pounds a week that could then be funneled into the NHS. The U.K. Statistics Authority has since said
that the claim is a quote, clear misuse of official statistics. My name is Holly Jarman. I’m an assistant professor in the Department
of Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan. Those promises really did hit home for a lot
of people. The idea that money would come back from Europe
to the U.K. was a very powerful symbol. It’s not actually true. That wasn’t really how EU financing works,
but we still saw that that was a big part of the media discourse and most likely part
of people’s judgment when they were casting their vote. The U.K. officially left the EU three years
after the original Brexit vote. Entering a transitory period through the end
of 2020, while the U.K. government negotiates international trade deals, the concerns about
private American corporations engaging more with the NHS came up during the discussion
of the post-Brexit trade talks with the United States. When you’re dealing in trade, everything’s
on the table, so NHS or anything else are a lot a lot more than that. Backlash to President Trump’s comments on
the NHS led to many British politicians assuring their constituents that the NHS was not going
to be a part of the trade talks. The NHS is in no way on the table. President Trump and backtracked on his comments,
saying he wouldn’t consider the NHS as part of the trade deal. A lot of trade negotiations are actually quite
secretive by nature. The two sides don’t really want to reveal
a lot about what they’re looking for in a deal. Our concern really as health researchers is
that the NHS really won’t be accounted for in that deal, that the U.K. government’s preferences
have been shown to be largely economic and not so much on the focusing on the health
of people in Britain. The problem is that the NHS is is already
on the table. It has been for a while. The politicians who are now going to be negotiating
the trade deals, you know, it’s going to be across many fronts. Campaigners were saying, okay, put your money
where your mouth is. If if you’re saying the NHS won’t be in a
trade deal, then let’s see legislation that sets that out says cast in stone. And they haven’t rushed to do that. Trade negotiations, cover everything at once. And it’s difficult to tell how they are going
to be pushing for the liberalisation of drug regulations and to what extent the Johnson
cabinet would actually agree with any changes that would be proposed to the way the U.K.
regulates pharmaceuticals. It’s really a central government led process. That’s not that democratic and does represent
big business. And I think that’s why a lot of people get
very concerned and anxious around trade agreements. There are some who say the NHS won’t be harmed
by Brexit, even in the event a trade deal with the EU isn’t reached by the end of the
year. I don’t expect that we’re going to see huge
changes actually in the Brexit era with regard to the to the National Health Service. And so I think with with regard to the NHS,
we’re not likely to see a significant impact as a result of of Brexit. I think the free trade deal will be largely
focused upon the service industry, which of course is now the largest part of both the
US and British economies. Whatever effect the trade deals end up having
on the U.K., reforming the NHS will continue to be a big part of the country’s political
conversation. People’s support for the NHS in the U.K. is
very strong. There’s no other country that when we hosted
the Olympics in London, we had nurses jumping on beds and the NHS was actually a part of
that ceremony and a part of that national celebration. The U.K.’s NHS is very important in British
politics. It’s an important symbol of Britishness in
that context.


100 thoughts on “How The United Kingdom’s Health-Care System Works”

  • Permaculture Ecuador says:

    Wow 3:30 The guy "advocating" for socialist healthcare
    You make more money – you pay more for healthcare and recieve the SAME treatment while paying MORE. wtf??
    In the USA – IF I PAY MORE – I GET MORE.

    He also admits – there are problems with their current system that will require RAISING TAXES EVEN MORE.

    Also I spend about 800$ for 1 year of healthcare in the USA…… its cheap.
    I've spent as little as 400$ a year.

  • In a nutshell it's completely free I'm from the UK we pay for our health service through our taxes which is taken from are salaries it's called national insurance contributions which gives us completely free health care of course you can go private if you wish too but that is for the 1%

  • Austin Martín Hernández says:

    If we could have M4A, along with an optional, separate, less regulated, private healthcare industry, and a law making insurance deductibles illegal, then that would probably be the best solution.

  • its funny how cnbc produces new that shows health care for all in positive light and msnbc potrays medicare for all as doom to US economy

  • Where does majority of the breakthrough medication/treatment come from? Switzerland and the USA!

    With innovations come cost. All these research needs money! While US healthcare is not perfect, it has its rewards (e.g. us middle class paying a huge copay versus someone who is Medicaid funded, no copay).

  • revolutionalist says:

    I see some misconception flying, public industry and healthcare is great. However it falls into one of the big problems facing democracy. Big industry in public is becoming a political football. NHS reforms are hard to implement because it politically explosive.

  • America isn’t satisfied with screwing over its own health care system, it wants to screw everyone around the world. Everyone wake up to this international deep right wing conspiracy cancer on the world

  • Very minor thing – but I found a typo at 5:02 where the narration says '57%' less while the subtitle says '87 percent less'

  • They're both old, you know what 4 years as president does to someone? It makes you look like you age like 20 years.

  • The NHS in the UK is by no means perfect, a LOT of money is wasted in the system on higher up management who earn stupid sums of money and do very little in terms of the service provided and also contractors ripping off the NHS (as it's Govt owned, everything goes out to tender so something which you can go and pick up for 50p somewhere gets charged at £12.50 because of the contracts). Many brits agree that the NHS is underfunded and no one knows how to fund it more (Taxes (but then we do pay a lot of tax already), pay per use (that goes against the founding values and puts those in poverty at risk) or give more work to private companies as they seem to get the job done cheaper). Another thing which most brits agree on is the fact that the NHS is abused too much. People getting appointments and not turning up or going to places too high up for their issues (Ie, going to the hospital to get paracetamol prescribed rather than a pharmacy/drug store).

    The UK system is good though and it works. You have the NHS which is essentially free or you can pay for private health (or some employers give it as a benefit of working for them) and that can help you get seen quicker and quieter at private hospitals etc. If the US were to think about implementing a UK style system, you need to look at the faults of the NHS and try to make it better.

  • Charles Testrake says:

    As a veteran I get my health care through the VA, which is very similar to the NHS, and I have never received a bill. I think every American, veteran or not should have this. Medicare for All!!!

  • I do like this healthcare series but I wish they could do a one to one comparison when it comes to statistics like infant mortality. On the OECD website, it says,
    "Some of the international variation in infant mortality rates is due to variations among countries in registering practices for premature infants. The United States and Canada are two countries which register a much higher proportion of babies weighing less than 500g, with low odds of survival, resulting in higher reported infant mortality."

    Meaning that one reason infant mortality is higher in the US is that what we would consider infant mortality the UK might call stillbirth, and since a stillbirth never lived they never died.
    It actually seems to be the norm for no country to agree on the same definition of infant mortality.
    By redefining the standard of care you can manipulate the success. Another example is mammograms. In the US women typically start a mamogram at 40 and the ADA suggests you get one every year. In the UK mammogram start at 50 and you only get them every 2-3 years.

    One of the many reasons our healthcare costs more could be because we consume too much, but you can easily argue that counties like the UK just have a lower standard.

  • Sarat Chandran says:

    Let me just say the stock footages in this are hilarious. Never seen doctors and patients so happy to be in a hospital.

  • The problem in the US is that they call them self christians but they have no idea what it means, neither what Jesus was teaching them.
    Christians consider god as the the one who rules, a bit similar to the government for non-religious people like me. But for health care I can go with that idea….I think the government should take care for the healthcare so when people get sic, they do not have to pay to become better.
    Any christian who is against this concept should stop calling him or herself being christian because they disagree with Jesus about this. Jesus was very very clear about it…..I will change my mind when you can give me 1, only 1 example of Jesus charging people for helping them. He NEVER did that helping people for free is essential for christians, and I do not believe in life after our death, but christians do and the first question will be: "Did you help people just as Jesus did?" And so often the answer will be " is our own responsibility! " and then they will hear: "Indeed it is our own responsibility to to as Jesus has teaches you! Not w"hat was preached by others, so I'm sorry but you're not welcome here."

  • Korean health care isn't free but it is extremely cheap compared to the US + the quality of the healthcare service is superb. Us at least might want to follow Korean system. If it gets free too quickly it might bring the downfall of the quality of service that the patients get. Which is the most important thing.

  • I love how they say how the UK spends less than half on healthcare than the US even though the US has 5 times the population.

  • Honestly, germany tops the UK system in any way, if you consider that they now aim to privatize it more with Johnson being at the head of this awful anti consumer and anti citizen movement.

  • Wendel Bolide says:

    It must be so bizarre to not have to worry about it like in the UK. It must be so nice to just focus on getting better. Im jelly.

  • Few years ago director of hospital in UK died in queue to operatorion… In state-run heathcare you pay not by money, you pay by your time – waiting few mounths or years for operation is nothing extraordynary in european heathcare systems.

    American freemarket heathcare is a myth –

  • It’s not perfect, but the Taiwanese health care system is pretty amazing. They are doing a really good job with this whole corona virus contentment, too

  • Bernie is a communist, socialist, far leftist.
    Who's gonna pay for his Medicare for all???
    So tax payers gonna be paying for all the illegals who will use Medicare for all.

  • Tein Meizeshi says:

    Are ppl stupid?
    Those UK statistics are not solely the results of public health care but also heavily effected by other regulations.
    For example, before UK left EU, EU had really strict food regulations. The best example of that can be coke, in EU there is much less sugar than the ones in US. It's the overall healthier lifestyle and healthier food regulations that was able to produce that kind of result. If everyone was morbidly obese than that healthcare cost will skyrocket.

    Edit: I also heard that in US in some city the government tried to ban 2,5 litre soda bottles to encourage healthier lifestyle for the citizens, but aperently those very same citizens protested against the idea that this "forcing healthier lifestyle" is encroaching on their freedom. So nope, with the current US mentality, the EU based healthcare is NEVER gonna work, since it needs the assistance of heavy food regulations.

  • U.K.'s NHS vs Germany's healthcare system. Private, state, and non-profit hospitals compete in Germany.
    People think in America that government alone can provide better healthcare and it's a solution to get rid of private insurance, because they believe this socialist politician says.

  • Tein Meizeshi says:

    After all the smoke from all sides, in summary:
    The wealthy: I don't want to pay for the survival of the poor.
    The poor: We can't afford the hospital bill with our income.

    Conclusion: Capitalism at its finest.

  • if you put a fat un healthy stupid 17 year old in a f-16 what do ya have that's high on dope ?????????????????????????????

  • Why didn't CNBC mentioned that the NHS is going bankrupt??
    Why didn't CNBC mentioned that NHS has a policy where it can deny medical care to any patients who is deemed "racist"???

  • NHS is similar to Medicare in Australia – private hospitals/health care in Australia are expensive but no long waiting times and generally better doctors than those that work in the free public system.

  • I always find it ridiculous seeing Americans pay so much for their insurance and still so much for their actual healthcare.

  • Anthony L. Goraczko says:

    My wife was involved in a car accident in 2018 and the bill came to over $25,000 , witch included ambulance , one night in the hospital (only about 8-10 hours),and other services. If it wasnt for private auto insurance , we would have to take out another mortgage on our house to pay for it .

  • Who pays In Recession? bern Do NOt know Diet Cure Disease, Prevention or Job Creation. bern is Job Destroyer. Trump is Job Creator

  • To change healthcare in the US set up a system like the postal service. Allow everyone to use Medicare, not force them to use it. That will allow the government to set a price for insurance, quality and services provided. Private insurance would the. Have a benchmark. People could pick what the need and what they want to pay. Force medical providers to post prices before services are rendered. That way quality of life and nonemergancy treatments can be compared cost to results. Allow insurance companies to compete across state lines. Allow medicine to be imported from Canada and EU where there standards meet or exceed American standards. Either the private insurance providers will reduce costs and provide better service or the government will take over from being better. Private enterprise is more efficient because there is an incentive, a nonprofit competitor would set a floor for a standard or care and a ceiling for price.

  • The NHS is the best system in the world but it is under threat from a right wing government and American health care lobbyists!! We must keep it out of private hands!

  • we already are seeing a huge impact from brexit. thousands of vacancies in the system, more delays and issues for patients. Tories can't be trusted with the NHS

  • If labor and migration is the priority ,and the working class relatively marginalized, then yeah, keep people ( workers) healthy. Its profitable for everybody to have a healthy population.

  • The NHS works because doctors are paid significantly less than in the USA. The girl I'm dating is a second year Jr Doctor. She gets about £3,000 (~$3,900) a month take home but tends to work 50-60 hours a week

  • Even the video promotes political correctness. Hetero population for the future is inaugurated with black males and whites females. The future is voluptuously brown and Socialist. The stock is hearty.

  • pax und peace says:


  • Summary: Britain is a socialist country offering their citizens free health care! America is a capitalist country that doesn't like sick people!

  • RocknRollDina says:

    America is a larger country with way more poor people who will not be paying into the system. So the small middle class and even smaller 1% will be paying into the system. That's why there won't be enough money to cover all 300 million plus residents. Get poor folks working and paying their fair share in taxes.

  • Sandra Dubeau says:

    Ha! Bingo! American corporations started meddling into NHS and now they are having problems. It’s well known how it work. 1- Starve the system by underfunding. 2- offer private care. 3- use fear/hate mongering like “see, we told you government run things don’t work” 4- people get brainwashed🙄 That PM is going to ruin your NHS. 🔥🔥🔥#Medicare4All

  • Only problem is how log you have to wait for things. The only way you know you'll get immediate care is if you're stabbed/have a heart attack

  • I love how the instant branding of Sanders as "far left" says waaay more about the USA mindset than anything else. He's a normal left candidate for us Europeans.

  • Michael Morgan says:

    The U.K has 20% sales tax products, the U.S is HALF. The U.K income tax is rate for anything above $65,000 is 40% the U.S is almost HALF (24%). You can't compare the two countries health services and wonder why the U.S doesn't just implement it

  • Funny how everything is all positive and no negatives! NBC trying to get their white guy voted into the Whitehouse in 2020!!

  • Raymond Royale says:

    Liberalism is a mental disorder. Direct quote from this dirty rag. CNBC:

    "President Donald Trump on Friday told reporters at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta that “anybody who wants a test gets a test.”"

    What President Donald J. Trump actually said: "anybody who NEEDS(not wants) a test gets a test.”

    Go listen for yourselves if you have the balls to look behind the curtain.. CNBC is a left leaning bent over and broken lies factory. It does not dispense news.

  • Críostóir Mac Gabhann says:

    "Far Left Bernie Sanders"?, talking about universal healthcare isn't exactly in the same category as wanting to collectivise everything and abolish capitalism. 😂😂

  • The NHS took a pummeling under austerity. It still hasn't recovered but if this government can make small changes, such as increasing salaries, it can recover. This government is focusing on the flashy headline grabbing projects, such as new hospitals and hiring thousands more nurses. They've said they want to save the NHS. Yet we haven't seen them commit to the small nitty gritty that needs to be done now so that in a few years the NHS will recover. The new immigration policy doesn't help either given that the NHS needs more staff, they aren't all going to come from the UK so they'll have to come from abroad. But the government won't allow immigrants to come in. The government really shot themselves in the foot with that. Now they can't go to the hospital to get the bullet removed

  • Amenhotep The Third says:

    I live in the UK, rarely use the NHS but love that it's there if I need it at almost no cost aside from general taxation. It's one of the best things about this country. Everyone has the equal rights to access quality healthcare and it's good to know that here at least, they do.

  • Grant Beerling says:

    Thatcher contributor…..Thatcher hated anything to do with Government funding, so no surprises there. Can't believe you even put him on !!!!
    If any threats occur, then on the streets we go!!!!!
    The best thing we have ever done as country for its people….72 years and still brilliant saved mine and many others lives whilst never having to put up our homes to pay.  Thus the Olympic opening ceremony section….I cried with pride and appreciation of the 1945 Attlee Government with Nye Bevan and Beveridge report of 43 helping its birth….US come in, the water is wonderful….

  • Nathan Salyers says:

    When government takes over your health insurance coverage, medical companies charge more and in order to keep up with the rising costs, the government taxes you more. Socialized health care is garbage

  • Nothing is more annoying than politicians at a podium scream at each other "no you're wrong, it won't cost that much", "No you're wrong, I'm right!" In a post-fact based society, people can just make assertions and leave it out to the audience to figure out and typically the audience is incapable of figuring it out. What's the fkn point then?

  • Sarthak Bhatia says:

    At the end I just feel Biden will need Healthcare. He is soooo old and looks weak. I don't even know why people are voting for someone with dementia. But then again Americans voted for Trump.

  • your representation of statistics is becoming misleading when you aren't explaining in depth what things like that 1.5x higher maternal mortality rate really means. It's easy to just sum it up 15 compared to 10, out of 100,000 and call it 1.5x more but that number is negligible when you take account, for a more unhealthy population in general, 40% obese, 32% overweight in the USA. so look at obesity rates to, that is Americans problem. They value their 'intellect' over physical health… they don't value mental health as much as pop culture would want you to believe, doctors and patients alike still are keen to use drugs as permanent solutions to temporary problems that could be solved through chiropractors, yoga, therapy, and lifestyle changes. Stop giving the government more responsibility to make up for your lack of personal accountability.

  • The idea that there wont be a lot more money for the NHS after we stop paying the EU many biilions is entirely false! Maybe £270 million a week, still a vast amount of money!

  • Facts don't care about your Feelings says:

    I’m in the uk,,, I can’t see how you allow your poor to go without health care,, it’s just wrong,,,,,especially in a situation like this,, it’s one of the reasons I think USA is going to be hit very hard by COVID-19,, that and you have an absolute fool as a president,,, good luck all

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