What Influence has the NHS had Globally?
On the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Health Check examines how it has influenced other health systems, with a special look at healthcare in Brazil and Indian primary care clinics
The NHS in Britain is 70 years old and in a special programme, Health Check looks at how it has influenced other health systems around the world. Claudia Hammond is joined in the studio by Dina Balabonova, Associate Professor of Health Systems and Policy at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
On the 5 July 1948 healthcare in Britain became free for all and funded by taxation. Professor Sally Sheard is a medical historian at Liverpool University and reports on the birth of the NHS and its very early days.
One country that has been trying to achieve universal health coverage is Brazil. Leonor Pacheco is Professor of Public Health at the University of Brasilia and tells Claudia about her national health service, which began in 1988 when a new constitution enshrined healthcare as a right.
A striking characteristic of the NHS model is the use of primary health care. Apart from emergencies, patients need to be referred for specialist care in a hospital by a family doctor. India is one of the countries that has tried to set up its own primary care system. This is no mean feat in a country of more than a billion, where 70% of the population lives in rural areas. Health Check’s reporter Chhavi Sachdev visits a small hospital and a primary care clinic in the city of Udaipur to see how it works.
(Photo: A waiting room at the Apollo hospital in Bilaspur, India. AFP/Getty Images)