National Health Service

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National Health Service

Most commonly called the NHS. The collective name for the publicly-funded health care systems in the United Kingdom. The governments of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales operate their NHS systems independently, while the UK government controls the NHS in England. Each NHS system is funded entirely by the government and provides most services free of charge for patients. Critics contend that the NHS is too expensive for taxpayers and that inefficiency has led to long wait times for medical care. However, it has remained popular among many people in the UK.