Health is considered one of the basic needs of people, so public institutions are created in order to satisfy it. Of course, as humans themselves are not perfect, all they create is imperfect as well, and the public health system is no exception to this. This system can work very differently from one country to another depending on their political organization and social values, but the basics are pretty much the same in any case: the government must set some sort of medical and pharmaceutical system to care for sick and wounded people. In some countries, the public health system offers service for free; in others, the prices are lower than the private healthcare companies.
The main possitive aspect of a public health system is that everyone has a chance to be healed. If health was only in the hands of private clinics, those with less purchasing power would be condemned to get sick and even die without any professional help. However, yet again, nothing is perfect. The British NHS, as well as public health systems from other countries, have received criticism regarding several aspects of the service. In countries of the first world, the quality itself of the service is usually enough to cover the demand with human dignity; however, some people complain that people can "cheat" so they take advantage of the NHS. The public system may care for the health of foreigners who don't pay to the UK tax system, by getting an Ehic and then using it to make the NHS cover their treatments. In other words, are foreigners gaming the system?
Some other complaints about the NHS is how actual hospitals function. Some of them are crowded, and people must wait for a long time to get an appointment with a professional. This can be bad in some cases because their condition might worsen while they await, or perhaps the condition itself doesn't change but the patients must wait innecesarily, sometimes for weeks, with the distress of not knowing what's going on with themselves.
To the NHS, you are a contributor. To a private clinic, you are a client. As clinics are companies, as a patient you can expect a different style of care. They will cover your health needs and try to provide quality service to retain you as a client. However, they're not doing it as an "act of good will" but as a business. Clinics are not inclusive, you must pay for all you get, and if you can't pay, then you won't access the treatment.
Those who can afford it sometimes choose to go to private clinics, even if the NHS is available for them, in order to get a faster and more personalized service. Private clinics can cover many flaws that the NHS has; however, there are some problems that are present in both hospitals and clinics.
Even if the service of private clinics is less saturated than the NHS, there are still issues with waiting lists and pending appointments. Besides, one of the things that we lack most of all in our modern lives is time, and going to a clinic is time consuming. You must count waiting, travelling and the actual consultation; sometimes we can't go to the doctor because of that, even if we need to. There are even cases when privacy is a huge factor - such as in sexual health testings - that draws people back. Even if the consultation is private, when people see us in the waiting room, they all know what we are there for.
A third possible solution for our need of health care is online clinics. The Internet is everywhere, and now our appointments with the doctor can be made online too. Several websites such as this online dermatologist checking service offer this sort of attention. Many online clinics share the same system: you load information on your symptoms to a webpage, and then a doctor reviews it and makes a diagnosis. You receive said diagnosis via the Internet or your smartphone, as well as - in some cases - the prescription for the medication you need.
Of course, yet again, nothing is perfect. Nobody actually sees you when you use an online health service, so the doctors will miss many details about you, some of which may be of radical importance for your correct diagnosis and treatment. However, the comfort of getting a super quick professional response without having to leave your house is too big to ignore nowadays. Don't you think?
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