Bulletin: Healthcare in the UK
Healthcare in the UK
20th February 2020
The NHS employs around 1.5 million people across the UK, making it the fifth largest employer in the world.
Health has been a devolved matter since 1999, with all four parts of the UK – England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland – entirely responsible for legislation and policy relating to health. As a result, while the NHS is based on common principles throughout the UK, the structure in each jurisdiction is distinctive. While health and social care is delivered within different legislative frameworks and structures, across the UK the NHS faces similar challenges.
Indirectly, though, ultimate responsibility for NHS funding could be said to reside with the UK parliament. As the NHS is financed mainly through taxation, it is the UK parliament which distributes funds to the Scottish parliament and the devolved assemblies, although how much of that is devoted to health is a matter for local determination. IHF Bulletin-United Kingdom (pdf 289.99kB)