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National Health Service

Public healthcare providers in the United Kingdom

The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly funded healthcare system of the United Kingdom. It is made up of four separate systems: The National Health Service in England, NHS Scotland, NHS Wales, and Health and Social Care in Northern Ireland. They were established together in 1948 as one of the major social reforms following the Second World War. The founding principles were that services should be comprehensive, universal and free at the point of delivery. Each service provides a comprehensive range of health services, free at the point of use for people ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom, apart from dental treatment and optical care. The English NHS also requires patients to pay prescription charges with a range of exemptions from these charges.

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