5 Interesting NHS Facts
1) It's the oldest
Founded in 1948 by Minister of Health Aneurin Bevan, the NHS has always had the principal that the NHS should meet the needs of everybody and be free at the point of delivery. The NHS is the oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world and many other countries have since copied the structure of the NHS.
2) The largest healthcare system
The NHS is the largest healthcare service in the world by number of employees. Over 1.7 million people work for the NHS in the UK, making it the 5th biggest employer in the world!
3) Prescriptions used to be free
The current charge for a single prescription is £8.40, although under 16s and over 60s are exempt from paying. However when the NHS was first created, prescriptions were completely free. That changed in 1952 when a growing drugs bill forced the NHS to start charging.
4) The NHS budget started at £437 million
In 2015/2016 the NHS budget stood at a huge £116.4 billion, a figure which is set to rise to £133,1 billion by 2020/2021..
5) It's undergoing a huge restructuring
Starting in April 2013, the NHS has undergoing it's biggest restructuring ever. Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities are being abolished, and Clinical Commissioning Groups and Healthwatch will be introduced. The changes aim to see local authorities taking a bigger role with budget responsibilities and a new focus on working closely with other healthcare providers.
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