Sunday, August 19, 2007


The essence of life of any individual is good health. Hence the connotation ‘health is wealth’ is universally accepted. For generation of wealth also good health becomes a pre-requisite. If any state takes care of the health all its people, then it can truly called a ‘welfare state’. More so, when it proceeds in an undaunted way to protect the lives of its people, fully conscious of the magnitude of the task in terms of expenditure involved in building the required infrastructure to sustain and maintain the various services as is being done in UK, it has to be commended profusely and whole-heartedly.
The motto of the UK government is ‘patients first’ in implementing their ‘National Health Service’. The foundation for this ambitious project dates back to the Beveridge Report of 1942, during the Labour Government of Clement Attlee after World War II. It has undergone several improvements under successive governments after its formal inauguration on 5th July, 1948 at Manchester by Ernest Bevin.
Private Finance Iniative undertakes a contract from the Health department of the government and sets up Primary Care Trusts which consist of General Practitioners, Dentists, Hospital Trusts, Ambulance Services Trusts, Care Trusts and Mental Health Services Trusts.
NHS costs are met from UK government taxation and thus all tax-payers contribute to its funding. It is a truly liberal democracy in which all citizens enjoy the fruits the national development as they need not worry about the cost of any treatment for any ailment they may get. What a great tribute to be a citizen of a country which takes upon itself the wellbeing of all its citizenry. The patient in this country while enjoying the dignity of responsible, latest and state of the art technology based treatment can choose the hospital from where to get treated and also commands protection of his/her privacy by keeping information regarding the ailment and treatment completely confidential. Presently the patients per doctor vary from 680 in some areas to 3428 in some others. They are planning to increase the number of doctors to bring down the divergence.
Another noteworthy feature of their polity is that they help their citizens by making their addictions increasingly difficult to pursue. The government presently bans smoking in public places. The government does not feel that it is working against its own sources of income in the shape of incoming taxes from sale of cigarettes.
Certain routine health services related to pregnancy, pre & post natal services are provided by nurses and mid-wives almost totally (except in emergencies). Every cadre of employees involved in health services has a distinct role to play. This ensures professional satisfaction to employees working in all cadres. The facilities available in delivery labour rooms are total. In case of emergency requirement all equipment and services can be obtained without panic- running at the required moment.
Pre-hospital care for patients involved in accidents and emergencies is being developed in the country by voluntary organisations. These organisations provide well designed training to doctors and Para-medical staff to attend to victims of accidents and emergencies and help in their recovery with least damage to original functions. Quickest possible rescue of emergency victims helps in restoration of original operation of faculties and less dislocation to the victim and regular hospital care in terms of lessening the bed-ridden time and occupation & use of avoidable emergency medical services. . People in such societies are not treated as expendable commodities. Put simply, the society gets benefited with such services and living in such societies becomes a matter of pride for the people.