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The price of health

We investigate how healthcare services compare across the globe

Imagine going to your local doctors for an appointment about your asthma. After a consultation, your GP prescribes you with medication, advice – oh, and a bill for £690. Or perhaps consider a relative has had a heart attack, and after being treated, they have to pay £2,390. While the concept of paying for basic healthcare might seem crazy for us in the UK, it’s the reality many around the world face. We take a closer look at some of these differences.

America

It’s well known that there is no universal healthcare in the United States and there is a privately run system. Any time you need medical care, someone has to pay for it – usually your insurance company. According to healthcare.gov, if you break your leg in America, you could end up with a bill for $7,500. If you need to stay in the hospital for three days, it would probably cost about $30,000.

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About Be Kind

Hello, If a genie appeared and offered you three wishes, what would you choose? Whilst thoughts of living on a paradise island with a personal chef and marrying Leonardo DiCaprio are tempting, I think most of us would wish for the same thing – good health for ourselves, our friends and our family. You’re very lucky if you haven’t experienced a bout of ill health, or helped a loved one through a bad time with theirs. Most of us can recall a rush to A&E with a broken limb, a hospital birth or a visit to a family member with flowers and chocolates. And, for most of us in the UK, we need to thank the NHS for the care received. The National Health Service was one of the most discussed issues in the last election and every day we hear news of how its future hangs in the balance, with threats of privatisation and further cuts to the service. We are incredibly fortunate to have a service like we do, and whilst there are faults in any huge system, we should be grateful. This issue we’ve taken some time to get to know the people of the NHS – the patients, the nurses, the midwives, the paramedics, the blood donators and the cancer survivors. We take a look at how services compare across the globe and also how climate change is affecting our health (think of the implications of air pollution, flooding and drought), both now and in the future. With the scary changes happening to our planet, it’s more vital than ever that we protect the precious lifeline that is the NHS. Have a great month, Phillipa Editor