At risk of adding to the off-topicality, here in the UK we have the state-funded NHS system. Very good in many respects, but abysmally bad in other ways (arguably, mainly, the care and human aspects, rather than the actual medical treatments).
Originally Posted by hoffy
Private medicine and expensive insurance schemes thrive for those who want non-urgent treatment sooner or at a particular time to suit their work or circumstances.
The big problem (IMHO) is that most people don't value anything which they get "for free"...they usually demand it as "their rights", and would never consider contributing anything even if they could well afford it.