Charge patients '£10 a month for using NHS', study suggests

Charge patients '£10 a month for using NHS', study suggests

 

People should be charged a £10 monthly membership fee for using the NHS alongside hotel–style charges for hospital stays, a report suggests. The study, which is co–authored by the former Labour health minister Lord Warner, called for radical changes to how the NHS is funded. Under the proposals, published by the centre-Right think tank Reform, every resident would gain "NHS membership" at a monthly fee of £10.

 

Those receiving free prescriptions would be exempt from the charges, the report added. It argued that NHS funding from general taxation should only rise with inflation to avoid starving the rest of the public sector of resources. Patients should also contribute "co-payments for the hotel costs of some inpatient hospital care". The report said: "By the end of the next Parliament, it is possible to envisage these changes in entitlements yielding over £6billion a year." Lord Warner said: "We can no longer pay homage to an out–of–date and unaffordable NHS that's unfit for today's and tomorrow's care needs." A Department of Health spokesman said: "The founding principles of the NHS make it universally free at point of use and we are clear that it will continue to be so."

 

Almost half of politicians believe the NHS may no longer remain free at the point of need if the challenges it faces are not tackled, a poll has found. Health leaders have previously warned that the NHS will only survive if there are radical changes in the delivery of health care.

 

The poll of 100 MPs, conducted by the NHS Confederation, found 48 per cent agreed that a free NHS would be unsustainable if some of its problems are not tackled.

 

By News Agencies,

 

The Telegraph, Monday the 31st of March 2014.

 

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