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7 Astonishing Facts About The NHS That'll Make You Weep With Pride

It's truly an amazing organization.

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1. NHS staff on the whole are in contact with more than 1.5 million patients and their families every single day.

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Our NHS provides care for millions of people every month: Around 23 million of us visit our GP or practise nurse each month. The UK's full-time GPs and doctors treat an average of around 255 patients a week, and NHS chiropodists take a look at more than 150,000 feet a week. That's a lot of toes!

2. The NHS employs roughly 1 in 20 people in the UK’s working population

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As well as saving lives on a daily basis, the NHS employs a workforce of 1.7 million people. This puts it in the top five largest employers in the world, and the largest employer in the UK and Europe.

3. And the NHS made the UK one of the first countries to have a national health system.

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Although Norway was the first ever country to establish national health care in 1912, the founding of the NHS in 1948 marked the first time an English-speaking country had set up a single-payer system. Since then, the average life expectancies for men and women in the UK have risen from 66 and 71 respectively to 83.2 years for women and and 79.8 for men. There are lots of reasons why life expectancy rises over time, and the free access to health care provided by the NHS is definitely one of them.

4. The NHS invests £4,677 a second looking after people.

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Having a potential 65.64 million people to take care of means the NHS needs a lot of funding. With a budget of £147.5 billion for the years 2017 and 2018, the NHS will make a whopping investment of £4,677 a second on keeping people healthy. This mammoth investment not only saves lives, but can also improve other aspects of daily life in the UK, too. A healthier nation means less people taking sick days, which in turn can boost the nation's productivity.

6. Millions of volunteers help the NHS deliver great service to all

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Millions of volunteers aide the NHS in a variety of roles, from staffing hospitals to performing hospital visits, driving patients to appointments, and more. A recent survey found that one in three UK citizens were willing to volunteer for the NHS, a staggering figure that shows how many compassionate people surround us. If you're interested in volunteering, you can sign up here.

7. Lastly, thanks to the NHS, the UK has some of the best healthcare in the world.

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According to a study by The Commonwealth Fund think tank, the UK ranks first for health care among 11 countries including the US, Canada, and Australia for health care. In the study, the UK came out first in 8 out of 11 areas it was judged on, including safety, effectiveness of care, and efficient use of resources.

As a longtime partner of the NHS, Sanofi works to transform scientific innovation into medicines and vaccines to support people all over the UK on their health journey. We stand by the few who suffer from rare diseases and the millions with long-term conditions and want to empower people to live their life to its full potential. Find out more about how we Empower Life.

All images via Getty / iStock.