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Health Systems

In Britain, healthcare is paid for through taxes and national insurance payments taken directly from wages and salaries. The government decides how much will be spent on the National Health Service, but a lot of people feel they do not spend enough. Hospital treatment and visits to a family doctor (or GP) at a surgery or clinic are free, but there is a prescription charge. Dentists and opticians charge fees. Private healthcare is available and a large number of insurance schemes exist to enable people to go private.


What will you say about the national health system in your country? Discuss in pairs and then report back to the group.

  1. Read the extracts from a medical information leaflet contained in a packet of headache pills. Change the underlined parts of the text with a proper word or word-combination.

If your answer to any of the following questions is YES, then you should tell a doctor or pharmacist before taking these pills.

  • Are you pregnant or breastfeeding?
  • Are you sensitive to any of the ingredients in these pills?
  • Do you suffer from liver, kidney or heart problems?
  • Do you suffer from haemophilia (problems with your blood not forming a partly solid lump properly)?
  • Are you taking any other medicines particularly for blood pressure, anticoagulants for thinning the blood, antidepressants, cortico-steroids, antiepileptic drugs?
  • Are you asthmatic?
  • Are you suffering from not having enough water in your body?
  • Do you suffer from or have you suffered from a stomach painful infected area on the skin or inside your body?



Medicines may cause unwanted effects in addition to the intended one in some people. If, after taking this medicine for the first time, you have an asthma attack or bronchiospasm (difficulty in breathing), gastro-intestinal haemorrhage (vomiting of blood or passing of dark, tarry excrements or pooh), stop taking these pills and consult a doctor or pharmacist.


Discuss in groups why it is important to follow the instructions given on medical information leaflets. Do you read the instructions given before taking pills (drops, substance, tonic, mixture) or using sprays, ointment, cream)? Do you have any contraindications to any medication? Did you have any side effects? Share your experience with your groupmates.

Date: 2015-01-12; view: 866

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