As part of GLOBALHealthPR, VIVA! Communications is all about recognising that health and healthcare mean different things depending on where you come from. We took the time to chat to five other health workers to ask them five questions about what healthcare means to them in their country. This month we started with our old Commonwealth friends back in the United Kingdom. Stay tuned for future editions of the GLOBALHealth roundup.

Name: Matthew

Occupation: Health Communications Consultant, UK

What is the health system in your country called?

The National Health Service (or NHS).


Who pays for medical treatment?

The NHS is funded directly by the UK Government through taxes. Anyone can walk in and use the services with no out of pocket costs. Prescriptions incur a small co-payment, but are costs are mostly covered by the NHS.


What is the best thing about healthcare in your country?

The best thing about healthcare in the UK is that it is available to everyone, with no discrimination. I think it’s great that in this day and age we can continue to provide a service that looks after those who need it most.


How are drugs approved?

Approval works through the European Medicines Association. In short, they review whether a medicine is fit to be marketed in the European Union. The UK National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) then decides if the drug should be funded by the Government based on its safety, effectiveness and cost. Once this is decided the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) monitors and regulates products.


What is your favourite health campaign?

‘Change 4 life’ is probably the program that stands out the most. It’s been around for more than 10 years and has always done a great job of simplifying healthy eating messages for the masses.