Survey: NHS Should Not Cover Lifestyle-Induced Health Issues

February 6, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. abuse / əˈbyuz / (v.) – to use improperly
Example: He abused drugs when he was younger and got sick because of it.

2. foot the bill / fʊt ðə bɪl / (v. phrase) – to pay for one's expenses
Example: The company will foot the bill for our team building.

3. impoverished / ɪmˈpɒv ər ɪʃt / (adj.) – lacking resources
Example: Wasting her money on trips left her impoverished.

4. insurance / ɪnˈʃʊər əns / (n.) – protection from loss or harm, usually given to someone who pays a regular fee for it
Example: All employees are provided with free health insurance

5. advocate / æd vəˌkeɪt / (v.) – to recommend or support
Example: He advocates regular exercise and healthy diet.


Read the text below.
The National Health Service of the United Kingdom should not pay for those with health issues caused by personal lifestyle choices, survey says.

Four thousand adults in the United Kingdom were interviewed about the cost of basic medical procedures in the United Kingdom and asked whether the government should pay for them. With regard to those who abuse alcohol and cigarettes, 85% said that alcoholics should foot the bill for their treatment, while 52% said that the NHS should not pay for the treatment if the condition was a result of smoking. Many seem to believe that the NHS is too impoverished to tend to people who may have caused their own sickness.

Additionally, participants were asked about how they felt toward NHS treatment. When asked about people who lead active to extreme lifestyles, 40% said that those who jog on roads should pay for their own treatment if jogging-related problems arise, while 45% said that those who participate in extreme sports such as snowboarding, surfing, or mountain biking should get private treatment in the event of an injury.

The study was carried out by healthcare and insurance provider Benenden. In response to the surveys, Dr. John Giles, Medical Director of Benenden, advocated the public to take responsibility for their own health as a way of avoiding sickness altogether. An earlier study by the company that looked into the health and wellbeing of the UK population revealed less than optimistic results. It found that most people are overweight, extremely tired, and poorly nourished because they do not comply with seven out of the eight basic health guidelines.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of the government paying for health services?
·         Do you think your country needs to provide more free health services? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         Do you think people in your country are generally healthy? Why or why not?
·         Do you think the government has a responsibility to keep its citizens healthy? State your reasons. 

February 6, 2016