An audio clip describing how people managed their health insurance before the National Health Service.
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If anyone was working, the employers deducted money for stamps, one for unemployment and the other for National Health insurance. The latter meant that the individual was entitled to the services of a General Practitioner and the medicines without charge. This meant, however, that taking, for instance, a man with two or three children, his wife was not covered by this, nor his children, and so if he wanted to obtain General Practitioner cover without having to pay on each individual item, he joined the doctor's club for his wife and children, or a Provident dispensary. There are a number of organisations about where, for a contribution of something like 5 pence a week, the subscriber’s entitled to the service of the General Practitioner and also to medicines. Quite a number of people couldn't even afford to belong to a doctor's club because the - although we hear about how cheap things were at that time, it was still very expensive to live on one's very poor salary.