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National Health Service

The National Health Service (NHS) is the [[Publicly funded medicine| publicly-funded healthcare system]] of the United Kingdom. It was created on 5 July 1948 by Clement Attlee's Labour government, under health and housing minister Nye Bevan. The NHS followed on from the "Panel" system set up in 1911 under the aegis of Lloyd-George, and the primary care records are still stored in "Lloyd-George" envelopes although nowadays most working records in primary care are computerised.

The NHS was, and largely remains, a system of medicine, intended to be "free at the point of delivery" and paid for by taxes. Private medical care remained, and remains, available in the UK.

The NHS continues to provide the vast majority of healthcare in the UK. The long-term future of the NHS and its day to day organisation are major issues in British politics. Chronic underfunding under successive goverments, combined with an exponential increase in unrealistic central directives, have led to a worsening situation of understaffing and low morale.

Contrary to popular misconception, the founding principles of the NHS called for its funding out of general taxation, not through national insurance.

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