The National Health Service (NHS) is the oldest publicly funded healthcare system in the world. It was established on July 8, 1948 by the Labour government under Prime Minister Clement Attlee and his health minister Aneurin “Nye” Bevan.
Its founding principle, which endures to this day under successive Labour and Conservative governments, is that good healthcare should be provided to all irrespective of wealth, age, gender, or belief.
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The system is funded by taxes paid by British residents, but healthcare is provided to all legal residents regardless of whether they have “paid in” or not.
Since it was founded, the NHS has become a British institution, with about 50 percent of the electorate saying it is the most important factor in deciding who they will vote for in the upcoming general election.