Is the British Health Care System Really Better?



hey this is Thomas I'm already from cool Cleveland calm and we're here today at Heathrow Airport in London and we're speaking today with Chris Burgess former Cleveland er former Cleveland ER and you've been living in the UK for 13 years 13 years now you must like it over here it's okay not bad not bad you were working for GE Lighting in Cleveland that's right and your nit yes a and you got transferred over here to kind of run run the worldwide operation it's kind of to startle the Internet activities way back when 4G for Europe not only for GE lighting but also for the rest of GE itself of its right and since then you've moved on to other positions most recently with Orbitz that's right working with Orbitz now as you speak awesome so we want to talk about healthcare because this is a big issue right now in the United States you've had experience with both systems say in the States and over here your overall impression of the healthcare system in the UK good bad indifferent no I think actually it's pretty good I think there's a lot of a lot of noise going on now or particularly around some people that may not be as fully informed as they should be back basically the way it works over here is that it comes out of your taxes right and it's all part of your taxes the way our taxes work a they're scaling at different levels so subsequently that depends on how much you pay right but overall to answer your question I think it's been very good we had we've had really good experiences over time with it and there was a time when we actually didn't even live here we got fantastic coverage because one of my kids was sick you were looking for a place to live and when your children got ill and they took care of you no charge right yeah ever meant to fly out in a Saturday if we hadn't been able to go would have been a real mess they took him in on a Thursday to do exactly what it was Wow and by Saturday morning were able to fly out no charge they gave him medicine to keep him for a week and it was fantastic right so talk about the quality of care first of all because I think one of the fears is that the British system doesn't have the level of quality of care that the United States has what have you found comparing Cleveland Clinic or the cleaning you know university health care system University Hospitals versus what you're seeing here and I mean certainly the kitchen University Hospitals in Cleveland Clinic we had to use them when we lived in in the states right I mean what I find over here is that the the buildings are not all brand spanking new and it's not all made of marble and things like that they could probably use a lick of paint however what I do find is if we do have all the same equipment that you have in the states it may take us a year before we get it but it comes so MRI and any of those tools are available to us people over here are genuinely focused on helping people you know my personal opinion is and I could be wrong is they there's an awful lot of in the states a lot of it's driven by self-interest very highly paid all the stature and the status that goes with that we don't have that as much over here they're here because they want to care about people and they want to take care of people so subsequently we get fantastic service that people are are really good right the only things I would say that might be downs are that sometimes it takes a while to get into a doctor which people have heard in the States on the news and that's kind of true but it doesn't happen very often and what they do is they just try to schedule it based on your need right for example if I get sick tomorrow I call in the morning I can get in that same day however if I've got something where I want to have a nose job which I probably would I may have to wait for that you know right so something that's not emergency you might have to wait for but they're taking care of the people on a per need basis what about getting tests you mentioned MRI or different tests are these available or are you Lily you're having a weight or you think that they're you're getting as good a care there I couldn't walk into get an MRI this afternoon but what I could do is I could plan for one for two weeks right and you will hear stories and I have to say they're exceptions that there are some people will wait for six months for something but for the most part it really it's just a matter of you know Ryan and I think a lot of what we're hearing about it especially in the States is a bit alarmist and it's not 100% true right are you able to for example choose your own doctors because there's a concern about oh I have to use some socialized doctor who has no experience or that I'm not comfortable with and is that the case no I mean all the doctors whenever the way that it works over here is you have a local office like we do in the states and you have what's called a GP a general practitioner you can go in you're usually assigned a GP and if it turns out that you don't like that GP you can has to change and there's usually half a dozen in each office even in a small town like where we live we've only got about 40,000 people in our town right and and it works out really well you know and and you'll find that there are good ones and there bad ones just like anywhere else right but for the most part you get one and you stick with it and it works out really well right overall do you feel and you think from your friends and colleagues here would they want to trade this system when they want to change it in any way I think it's one of those things that no matter where you are you complain about things right but having been in both places and I have to say that the health care in the states is great at least when we were their fifth thirteen years ago but you get it you get the commensurate amount of care over here as well I think right if you're willing to kind of give up some of the bells and whistles meaning that you know you don't have a brand spanking you're building like I said before right but maybe you don't have the latest equipment available to you right away you may have to wait for a year right and it literally is a year I think it's great all right we've we've never had a bad experience with it and you read about them in the paper all the time but like I said there's 63 million people in this company or country yeah and there are people that actually come from Europe and use it as well sure talk about what you pay for prescription for example you walk in any prescription and what are you charged for that typically they will charge us for most prescriptions probably 80% five pounds which is right now worth about seven seven dollars okay and you prescription that can last for a week it can last for a month sometimes you might have some really peculiar or specialist types of drugs and those might be 11 pounds so you're talking about paying up to maybe 15 dollars for a prescription that lasts up to 30 days or whatever a normal prescription would be and that's it it's that's a maximum cost you're not gonna end no matter which drug it is no that's right that's correct yeah that's the way it works and the rest of your doctor's visits charges for that no charges no charge no you walk in and you're being taken care I'll call him in the morning you say I'm having this particular ailment can I see a doctor yeah say okay well can you come in at 2:00 o'clock or can you come in on Thursday you know depends yeah you get your schedule and you go in no co-pays you're not paying a percentage as you as you go No it all comes out of your your income tax each right and the way that it works this is something that I think some of the people might want to know is over here we pay up to 40% in income tax and now they're just about to do a new one where if you're paying over you're earning over a hundred and fifty thousand pounds you'll have to pay possibly up to 50% on your incrementals on your on your highest level of income but your first ten thousand pounds you earned is at a low level or you don't pay any tax at all yeah and then you'll pay a small percent on the next five thousand pounds and this little bigger percent and as you go up that does increase that's right and that's your overall tax for everything right and they don't have state local and federal taxes like we do we have tax already included on everything we buy right so that's it you just pay with you what you pay so it's a much simpler system in a way in terms of taxes and and and it's a little cleaner in terms of what you pay it's not one fee after another after another tax after another that's right right and and so subsequently that money goes towards paying or Henn HS and so I could say that it's 5% under 7% or whatever for NHS but it really varies based on how much you earn and it's a sliding scale like you said and most people are covered I mean the percentage of people everybody is covered everybody in the country everybody in the country is covered that's remarkable yeah and and like I said there were people that will come over from Germany or Spain to have work done especially since we're part of the EU now right they're starting to take a close look at that because they don't want that to get out of hand but right but like I said when we came that first week you know they put him in the hospital for two days they gave him antibiotics no charge and well you were not a citizen you were you had no nothing official having to do with the UK you know they just you just said we need some help and they took you right away that's exactly right yeah right hey Chris thanks for taking time to talk weather it sounds like you're enjoying this healthcare system among other things in this country well I guess what I would say is it's like anything else it's not perfect but I but you know I think America would do well to at least think about looking at how it works it's not socialist it's it's well it is in a way but it works good for you well thank you so much for taking time to talk with us Chris you have a good one right it's Thomas already from cool cleveland.com have a great week in cool Cleveland

31 Comments

  1. Most people who criticise the NHS have never needed it. Those who have are generally very happy with it.

  2. The most Christian country does not treat people as Jesus would. I am not religious myself.

  3. We pay half the costs americans do and live 2 years longer……why is there a debate?

  4. I ran international cancer support groups online for years. As a Canadian/Brit, I was appalled at the difficulty people had getting treatment in the US. On several occasions, I had to help Americans get care, by email, from Canada.

  5. prescriptions are free for children and pensioners

  6. "you must like it here"
    "it's OK"

    Spoken like a proper brit

  7. Bollocks to private health care give me socialised health care any day

  8. Thank you for highlighting how good the UK health care system is and how much cheaper it is than US model. Give Bernie Sanders your vote. His brother lives in UK and so he knows full well how Americans can benefit from it.

  9. 99.9% of brits love the NHS. i would be happy to pay even more tax to help the NHS improve and i think most brits would agree. i can book an appointment to see a dr on the same day, i can spend 1 year on a hospital bed and i wouldn't be charged a penny. some of us dont use it as much others but i think everyone understands the importance of having it there on a rainy day.

  10. Of course the NHS is way better than anything other than Remote Area Care in America. Remote Area Care health system is a charity, and is obviously run by an Englishman. There is nothing that America does better healthcare wise.

  11. NHS – 87% approval rating among Brits !

  12. it isnot income tax that pays for the NHS it;s National insurance stamp that pays for the NHS and Social care but in everything else he right

  13. Basically, the UK has a better system

  14. less likely to get shot in UK as well.

  15. Yes, the nhs is bloody amazing! I have lived here for 18 years from the USA and I love the nhs. There is nothing wrong at all with the system, it’s amazing. The USA would leave you to die but the nhs NO! Thank god for the system treating me.

    FYI this video is out of date. The information that this guy is saying is somewhat true.

    We have all the latex equipment. You do not have to wait unless it’s something routine like a nose job or something that isn’t life threatening.

    If it’s like threatening, then you are seen immediately or within hours. You can get a docto to your house if you need one.

    We have ALL the same equipment , drugs and care as the USA. There is no difference , I work in the nhs and I wouldn’t trade it. When I trained the nhs paid for my university, I have a first class degree in a field which saves lives.

  16. You see the same doctor if you go to your local surgery unless they on holiday but to go AnE you'll see anybody, but you'll see the same bunch each time you go iv had the same 2 doctors 3 times this year in AnE

  17. In 2017 I had an Aneurysm and a stroke within a few days after my blood pressure had been reduced I was operated on didn't have to worry about money to pay for it or no greedy insurance company trying to reduce help given. Give me the NHS anytime we never face bankruptcy because of health cost.

  18. I peed blood 18 months ago. I got an appointment with my GP the same day. Within a week I had MRI, CT and ultrasound scans. WIth a month I had surgery. I have regular treatment now for incurable cancer. It is ALL FREE. God bless the NHS.

  19. Good video well-spoken answers and questions, as a UK citizen I would say I fully agree with all the talking points. But yer cameraman's drunk.

  20. Healthcare is one thing that HAS to be risk-spread throughout the whole country. The US problem is too much profit by hospitals, insurers and drug companies!

  21. But he's just anotherbrain washed commie(sarcasm).

  22. This is what makes this a difficult issue for US citizens…. you have anecdotes on both sides. When i spent a semester in london, my ex pat professors swore against how bad the system there was. The first thing my marketing professor told me was dont wait for an ambulance if you get a bad cut because his friend nearly bled out waiting for an ambulance for over 2 hours earlier in the year. I got blood work there and got my results 4 months after the needle went in my arm. Small sample, but that was my small personal experience. Both sides are just trusting that someone is telling them the truth.

  23. 9 years ago I suffered a pretty major stroke and spent four months in neurological rehab unit learning to walk again all paid for by the NHS, last year I had skin cancer diagnosed and treated within five weeks and I still a free check up twice a year again paid for by the NHS.

  24. Also……. if you’re unemployed, over 60, or are on a low wage, you are entitled to free prescriptions. There is also a certificate you can buy for about £30 which lasts three months, if you need a lot of medication but you aren’t entitled to free prescriptions.

  25. The charge for a prescription is only England. In Wales Prescriptions are free.

  26. Interesting. This is a guy with a good and presumably well-paid job, and even he thinks the NHS is good.

  27. This is 9 years ago and the NHS has really gone done since because of the massive population explosion (3million more people live in the UK now than when this video was shot)due to legal and illegal immigration. The healthcare system in the UK is now on its knees.

  28. Bankruptcy due to medical default is the biggest reason for bankruptcy in the US and its causes more bankruptcy than every other reason put together.

  29. Nhs doesn't come out of income tax it is separate it's called nic National insurance contribution a small amount based on what you earn which goes straight towards Nhs. I wish people would ask English people about this instead of an American.

  30. People exempt from prescription charges wasn't mentioned. I'm retired and don't pay for a permanent monthly repeat prescription for seven different pills.

  31. In a word – YES

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