BRITAIN'S HEALTH CARE SYSTEM COSTS PATIENTS AND BUSINESSES BILLIONS
June 26, 2008
Government-run health care in Great Britain has imposed huge costs on patients and businesses by denying treatments and medications, despite the fact that the National Health System (NHS) ran a $4.67 billion surplus in 2007, says Krystle Russin of the Heartland Institute.
According to the National Center for Policy Analysis:
- Great Britain lost a total of $208 billion in the overall economy to illness and treatment.
- This figure includes $127 billion in potential earnings based on productivity, $81 billion in paid mental health leave and $50 billion in direct costs to friends and family members tasked with caring for the ill.
NHS's negative effect on the British economy, especially while the program itself is running a large financial surplus, is causing tension within the government and among British citizens, says Russin. For example:
- An April Gallup poll showed only 7 percent of British citizens were very satisfied with their health care system.
- Twenty-five percent of those polled said they were extremely dissatisfied with their care.
- Another 27 percent were somewhat dissatisfied.
Analysts credit the more incentive-based American system for the lower overall cost and higher productivity found in U.S. health care, particularly in comparison to the government-centered British health care apparatus, says Russin.
Source: Krystle Russin, "Britain's Health Care System Costs Patients and Businesses Billions," Heartland Institute, July 1, 2008.
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