What is "free" treatment?

  octal 06:42 10 Apr 2008
Locked

The keep touting out "free" NHS treatment, last time I looked I was paying National Insurance contributions, so I don't understand the concept of "free" treatment, free at the point of source maybe, but the cost has to be met somewhere, so it's not free.

click here

  jack 08:48 10 Apr 2008

to any one anywhere.
There is always a price to pay.

  Pine Man 08:56 10 Apr 2008

It's a bit like the latest phone adds from some phone companies - just £5 a month gives you FREE phone calls in the afternoon and evenings!!

  numskull 09:00 10 Apr 2008

NHS treatment has NEVER been "free" It is paid for by the British taxpayer. Visitors from EU countries and countries which have reciprocal care agreements are entitled to care, "for anything which has arisen whilst in this country."
However, if a British citizen requires care, "for anything which has arisen" whilst in an EU or reciprocal care country we seem to still have to pay.
Your European Health Care Card (E111) states that you are entitled to free or reduced cost care!

  oresome 09:01 10 Apr 2008

I didn't realise that we refused treatment to anyone who was ill.

It's not the action of a society I would like to feel proud to live in.

  interzone55 09:24 10 Apr 2008

The NHS is "free at the point of delivery", that's they way it's always been officially described.

Then again, if you don't work it's completely free to you.

On Friday I went to the doctor for a swollen ankle, he weighed me and said you've put some weight on since your last visit.

Oh, when was my last visit? March 1996 he says. That was when I registered at that surgery, I remember they were worried that my last surgery had lost most of my records since there was nothing in the file except my birth records (my mum's GP delivered me) and my vaccinations when I went on a 6 week tour of the sub-continent. No that was everything because I've never needed a doctor for anything else because I've been jolly lucky with my health.
It does mean that the NHS part of my NI contributions since 1987 have been wasted as far as I'm concerned.

On the other hand my wife has had two 5 week stays in hospital with major surgery and is on constant medication for the rest of her life - so in a way my NI payments have been diverted to pay towards my wife's care, which is the way the NHS works.

  namtas 09:28 10 Apr 2008

Well of course it can not be free in the true sense, is has to cost money, but most of it is free at the point of delivery - for all its faults I would still have the system we have here in the the UK than in some areas of the world, I think it wins hands down taking all things into consideration. We should be proud of it and stop knocking it and no, I have no association with the NHS, apart from one day I, or my family may require the service it provides.

  numskull 09:47 10 Apr 2008

oresome - why should the British taxpayer pay for the rest of the world?

alan14 - even the unemployed pay tax!

  peter99co 10:25 10 Apr 2008

If a person is paying his his or her contributions and requires medical treatment then no problem. If that person is here illegally then the treatment should be charged for.

This is why when we go out of our homeland we take out Medical insurance. If you do not have Medical insurance you get a bill.

Even in Cuba the Free Health Service must receive it's income from some state revenue. The "free" is only for those of low income who do not contribute to to state in some way.

Nothing is free we all contribute in different ways. Think of all the Volunteers who give their free time. They give up something to be able to do what they do.

  jack 10:26 10 Apr 2008

Self inflicted injury for example.
Getting so drunk that medical intervention is required- why should the populace at large cover some one elses indulgence?
Also of course if the fee was scaled to measure the cost of the indulgence, then it reduces the funds available to get that way next time.
Sports injury/outdoor pursuits should be expected to be covered at least least personal cover -after all it is a deliberate act of putting yourself in harms way.
I wonder how many folk pulled in from Hill and Moors by the volunteer rescue teams think of making a substantial donation to to them?

  interzone55 10:44 10 Apr 2008

Yes, unemployed pay tax & NI - but only if they claim benefits. What about housewives / husbands - they don't work & also don't pay any NI contributions. These are the people I meant.

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