Methods of universal health care take the form of various health insurances and health care systems available to all of the citizens of a country whether they are capable of paying for their care or not. Basic differences between the types of universal health care are the ways in which the health care system is operated. In a socialized health care system, the government and its associated agencies employ the health care professionals. Other systems see government agencies cover the cost of medical care provided by professionals in the private sector.
European countries have provided the foundation from which universal heath care systems are based. The first government-funded health care system was established by the German government. German workers had combined their funds for many centuries to ensure that each member of their profession had access to a medical professional.
Socialized medicine was first introduced in the U.K. in the first half of the 20th century as the national health insurance service. In socialized medicine, the employment, budget, and services offered by a health care system is presided over by government agencies appointed by elected officials. Every aspect of the medical care provided is covered by taxes paid by the citizens of a country or region of a country in this version of universal health care. Each citizen of a country is entitled to medical services, such as dentistry, emergency care, and long-term health care, whether they are employed or unemployed, a senior citizen, or disabled.
There are countries, including Germany, that operate a multi-insurance health care system. Citizens working in blue collar positions pay taxes through their employers covering health insurance provided by a nationally- or state-operated health care agency. Self-employed and white collar workers earning more than a specified annual income have the option to remain in the government-operated insurance system, or can purchase their own insurance or cover the costs of health care themselves. Multi-insurance systems provide health care through privately-operated medical professionals.
Members of a nation at the greatest risk from not receiving adequate health care are covered free of charge in a universal system. Unemployed, elderly, children, and disabled people within a universal health care system are provided with every service available to people covered by a state-operated health insurance system. Pharmaceuticals are made available to people at an affordable cost to ensure that the citizens in nations offering health care to all are capable of receiving the drugs prescribed to them by a medical professional.