The Uk's National Health Service (NHS) is a publicly funded healthcare system that provides coverage to everyone normally resident in the UK. It is not strictly insurance system because (a) there are no premiums collected, (b) costs are not charged at the patient level and (c) costs are not pre-paid from a pool. However, it does achieve the main aim of insurance which is to spread financial risk arising from ill-health. The costs of running the NHS (est. £104 billion in 2007-8) are met directly from general taxation.
Private health care has continued parallel to the NHS, paid for largely by private insurance, but it is used by less than 8% of the population, and generally as a top-up to NHS services.
The NHS provides the majority of health care in the UK, including primary care, in-aptient care, long-term health care, ophthalmology and dentistry. Recently the private sector has been increasingly used to increase NHS capacity despite a large proportion of the British public opposing such involvement. According to the WHO, government funding covered 86% of overall health care expenditures in the UK as of 2004, with private expenditures covering the remaining 14%.