Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law Blog

British Expatriates Prefer England's NHS Over American Healthcare System

Posted by Briggs Bedigian | May 23, 2016 | 0 Comments

“Better” and “worse” are words of comparison – to say “the Orioles are better” requires you to compare them to something else. Namely, the Yankees.

Similarly, while the words “good” and “bad” are not exactly words of comparison, they do still require a baseline to fully understand their quality. Claiming to be “good at guitar” raises the question, “compared to whom? Billy Joe Armstrong? Or Joe Satriani?”

Healthcare systems are different in different countries. In the United States, we have a relatively unique system because it is privatized, with insurance companies and healthcare facilities and professionals that function as businesses. Whether this system is “good” or “bad,” however, requires looking around at other healthcare systems in other countries and comparing the two.

Unfortunately, comparing the healthcare systems of two countries often produces mixed results, with some factors coming out in favor of the foreign system, and others showing the U.S. way is the better way. These mixed signals make it difficult to make an overarching statement about the total quality of the U.S. healthcare system, but the fact that it is still the way it is, means that politicians are convinced that we have it right.

Of course, the healthcare sector is the one that lobbies Congress at one of the highest rates, spending nearly $500 million to convince congressmen that they are doing a good job. Therefore, listening to other, less biased sources might be worthwhile.

British Ex-Pats Laud the U.K. Way

One interesting source to listen to is ex-pats. People who have left their home country for America, or who have spent a considerable amount of time on both soils, can provide valuable insight into how well each country does healthcare.

While these stories can only be individual anecdotes, and therefore will never rise to a significant data set that can be considered a statistic, what British expatriates have to say about the U.S. healthcare system is pretty harsh: England's National Health Service (NHS) is far, far better.

Numerous Factors Put the NHS Ahead

According to British ex-pats, there are numerous factors that make the NHS better, in their eyes.

The cost of treatment is England is staggering: It costs nothing. The NHS is paid for through taxation so, while taxes are higher, no one gets turned away from treatment, and there is hardly ever a bill to pay. This leads to another often-cited perk of the U.K. system – there is hardly any paperwork to fill out.

As for the exorbitant wait times that many Americans think they can expect in a foreign healthcare system, a report stated that 84% of emergency room patients in England are seen within four hours. While this seems like a miracle to Americans, it was received as a disaster in England, where the goal had been to see 95% within four hours.

Maryland Medical Malpractice Attorneys Gilman & Bedigian

Regardless of whether the American or the British healthcare system is better or not, medical malpractice will always remain a part of it, simply because doctors are still human. If you or someone you love has suffered because of the mistake of a healthcare professional contact the law office of Gilman & Bedigian online or at (800) 529-6162.

About the Author

Briggs Bedigian

H. Briggs Bedigian (“Briggs”) is a founding partner of Gilman & Bedigian, LLC.  Prior to forming Gilman & Bedigian, LLC, Briggs was a partner at Wais, Vogelstein and Bedigian, LLC, where he was the head of the firm's litigation practice.  Briggs' legal practice is focused on representing clients involved in medical malpractice and catastrophic personal injury cases. 


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