Speaking on the 65th Birthday of the NHS, Ulster Unionist Party Health Spokesperson, Roy Beggs MLA paid tribute to the continuing success of the NHS in providing free healthcare to everyone in the United Kingdom.
Speaking at an event at Stormont to celebrate the Birthday, Roy said;
“I was reminded again today of how proud we should be of the NHS. It is fitting that the community takes time to fully appreciate the free health service that the 1.3 million people employed by the NHS provide to them around the clock, every day of the year.
“The provision of free healthcare is not something that we should take for granted. Indeed, for citizens as close to us as in the Republic of Ireland, free healthcare is only available to a very few individuals, who for example earn less than £155 per week.
“A visit to a GP in the Republic of Ireland on average will cost around €100, while an overnight stay on a public ward in a public hospital can be as much as €75, on top of the consultant’s fees. If a patient wanted the privilege of a private bed in a public hospital, they would have to pay as much as €1,046 per night, significantly more than most 5* hotels.
“These figures go to show, that for all the criticism the NHS receives, both rightly and wrongly, the free healthcare that they provide to all citizens of the United Kingdom, is a service which must not be scorned, and I am proud of the NHS heritage which has lasted us these last 65 years. Happy Birthday NHS. We all should treasure this great British institution which is envied throughout the world.”