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Table 1 Core attributes of the National Health Service, reflecting one possible (and fairly successful) implementation of a Universal Healthcare Coverage system

From: Sharing the British National Health Service around the world: a self-interested perspective

Attribute Description
Comprehensiveness Cradle-to-grave system, covering effective and cost-effective health care, public health and complementary social care. In the 'ultimate’ case, 'comprehensiveness’ embraces all health determinants from pre-natal to the grave.
Universality All residents of the UK (citizens, legal and illegal immigrants) are covered.
User fees Care is free at the point of use
Funding source Progressive general taxation funding
Resource allocation Centralised resource allocation formula which takes account of need, deprivation, market forces
Purchasing/commissioning NICE explicitly accounts for the opportunity cost of new investment decisions in services and technologies
Ownership of healthcare delivery agents Mix of public, private and third sector, all under contractual arrangements to offer care to NHS patients based on fee schedule and quality standards
Co-existence with private system Small (and shrinking) private market co-exists with the NHS but no opt-out of the NHS exists for British tax-payers