Since its launch in 1948, the NHS has grown to become the world’s largest publicly funded health service. It is also one of the most efficient, most egalitarian and most comprehensive.
The NHS was born out of a long-held ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth. That principle remains at its core. With the exception of charges for some prescriptions and optical and dental services, the NHS remains free at the point of use for anyone who is resident in the UK. That is currently more than 65m people.