Often referred to as universal health care, national health care is a system of health care provided and run by a country’s government. The system grants free health care access to every citizen of the country. The exact healthcare services offered to citizens for free may vary from country to country, meaning that there will be some services which require personal expense to be able to access them. However, the vast majority of health services will be provided for free and paid for by national taxation. Many countries offer universal health care today, one of the first to do so successfully being Germany. The first country to ever implement such a system however, was Great Britain.
Amongst the other countries to offer such a system are France, Australia, and Italy. Almost all of the more economically developed countries around the world offer some kind of universal health care system with the exception of the United States of America. In the USA the only way to access medical care is to have medical insurance. Whilst most industrialized countries offer some kind of free medical service to their citizens the structure of this system can vary quite a bit between nations. One example of this is policies regarding private medical care. In the UK it is common practice for doctors to offer private medical services outside of the free public system, but other countries have greater restrictions on such private medical practice.
Universal health care is a very broad term that has many possible applications. However, the key feature is the provision of a free health service to citizens of a nation. Systems of this sort require huge sums of money to run. As such countries usually pay for such a system through national taxes which all citizens pay. In exchange for paying these taxes citizens are then granted free access to the national health system. It is the government’s decision as to who is entitled to health care and what sort of treatments are to be made available on the system. In some systems patients may have to pay for some part of the treatment whilst receiving the rest for free. This is a form of heavily subsidized treatment.
Systems such as these have been proven to work extremely well in a number of countries around the world. Whilst these systems are inevitably very difficult to manage, the benefits largely outweigh the costs. Owing to this fact, many American citizens and politicians have suggested that such a system may be of benefit to the USA. Rising rates of medical insurance in the USA have driven many to see a national health system as a good solution. In recent times medical insurance costs have risen out of reach of the average citizen meaning that many choose to go without insurance every year. The difficulty with this is that if medical treatment does become necessary the costs of such treatment are enough to make a family bankrupt. Opposition to this view states that taxes are levied on those who least need such care.