We must look after an entire nation’s health – regardless of wealth

The UK’s National Health Service “was founded out of the ideal that good healthcare should be available to all, regardless of wealth”. Factors such as geography, demographic and socio-economic status, however – together with the fact that our healthcare system has long been stretched beyond capacity – have resulted in vast health inequalities across the country.

The pandemic has arguably exacerbated the matter. People living in the most deprived areas in the UK were twice as likely to die after contracting COVID-19, and we are yet to see the full picture of the impact that the pandemic has had on access to healthcare.

Current NHS challenges – workforce shortfalls, waiting lists, long ambulance stacks and delays in patient handover at the hospital front door, to name a few – raise the stark prospect of the country’s health inequality issues being made even worse.

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