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Prior to the construction of the national health sevice, rich could afford to see gps, poor couldn't if they were ill they wou

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Prior to the construction of the National Health Service only the wealthy groups in society could afford to visit and to receive treatment from a General Practitioner (G.P). If a poor person became ill they would be cared for in the home by women, using herbal remedies and knowledge passed on through generations. If this was not available the last resort would be to go to the workhouse to work and in return would receive minimal food and the barest accommodation, they would receive no medical treatments and would eventually die. Workhouses became notorious for their bad treatment of people; they were being punished for their situation, not given help or support. After the wars during the 20th century many men were unfit for work and had poor health, so poverty was widespread which in turn lead to poor housing conditions and health. The government was under pressure to accept responsibility for the health and welfare of it citizens. In 1942 the wartime government of the day produced the Beveridge Report, which identified five 'great social evils' - ignorance, idleness, want, squalor and disease. Its main recommendations to eradicate these problems were: * Universal secondary education to eradicate widespread 'ignorance' (or poor education) * Full employment to deal with 'idleness' (or unemployment) ...read more.


Housing - low incomes can cause people to live in poor condition housing. Damp houses can cause asthma and recurring chest infections. Overcrowding can also cause inadequate hygiene levels and psychological stress. Gender - On average women live five years longer than men but visit their G.P more often than men. Men are more likely than women to have physical manual jobs and take more risks in life, leading to accidents. Ethnic Groups - life expectancy in ethnic groups is generally shorter than the rest of the population. Different groups tend to have specific problems. Those originating from India have higher than average rates of tuberculosis and coronary heart disease. Some diseases are mainly confined to certain groups, e.g. Afro Caribbean suffer from sickle cell anaemia and Asians can suffer from rickets. Geographical differences - People who live in deprived areas are more likely to suffer ill health than those living in richer areas. Also not all health services are available in all regions, sometimes this is determined by the person's postcode, this has been called 'the post code lottery'. Waiting lists for treatment in different areas also can vary. In l998 a report was carried out by Sir Donald Acheson based on the 'independent inquiry into the inequalities in health'. ...read more.


Some G.Ps do not refer patients over the age of 65 to have a consultation with a specialist. If someone is referred they will have a needs assessment, which would consist of what pain they are in, how the complaint restricts their life and how beneficial the procedure would be for them. For example if two people needed the same treatment the person who would gain the most life years at the best quality would be treated. This is known as rationing. If the decision was yes the person would go on a waiting list, and there is no guarantee for how long this would be, as often more simple procedures are carried out first due to pressures of meeting waiting list targets. The NHS has helped to improve the nation's health, with the increase in lifestyle diseases, the ageing population, advances in technology and medicine. The cost of maintaining a free for all service is constantly rising. People do not want to pay more taxes to fund the NHS, so it is likely there will be a continuous increase in privatisation. In the future a means tested healthcare system or the need for private medical insurance for those who can afford it may develop, which would be against the NHS original values, and the aim of providing free healthcare for all. ...read more.

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