Medicine: The Private Alternative

Britain's National Health Service offers free medical care from cradle to grave, but increasing numbers of Britons fear they may be in their graves before they reach the end of the interminable queues for services. Seeking an alternative, 2,000,000 Britons now pay for additional private medical insurance. The number has doubled in ten years, and private insurers predict that 5,000,000 people, a tenth of the population of England and Wales, will eventually be covered by their policies.

For this fiscal year the cost of the distressed Health Service is estimated at $4.5 billion, more than 5% of the national income. But N.H.S....

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