Proposed new £10 per month charge for the NHS...

31 March 2014

stressed-doctorSome people say the NHS is what makes Britain great, and the principle of free healthcare for all is one cherished by many. Now, however, a Labour peer is calling for NHS treatment to be limited to those contributing a monthly fee in order to become NHS members.

In a report published by think-tank Reform, Lord Warner, who was in charge of health service reform under the Blair government, is calling for a combination of membership fees and ringfenced taxes to protect the NHS and guard it against collapse under the weight of chronic illnesses.

Currently NHS spending is protected in Governmental budgets, but Lord Warner argues that this “risks seriously damaging other public services” as a consequence.

In addition to earmarking sin taxes as going directly to the NHS and increasing inheritance tax, the report also suggests that “some form of social care tax” could be introduced in middle age. Whenever that is. Lord Warner cites the case of  Japan, which introduced a such a compulsory levy in 2000, which “helped considerably to fund the care costs of their ageing population”.

An NHS “membership fee”, which would be gathered along with the council tax, of around £10 per month should also become compulsory and would fund preventative care but would also entitle each “member” of working age to a health “MOT”.  Groups entitled to free prescriptions would be exempted.

A spokesman for the Department of Health 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. This government doesn’t support the introduction of membership fees or anything like them.

“But we know that with an ageing population there’s more pressure on the NHS, which is why we need changes to services that focus far more on health prevention out of hospitals.”

So is it just a matter of time until we all have to dig into our pockets? Or is there a better alternative?

TOPICS:   Health

17 comments

  • God
    Many of us already PAY for the NHS, and I will guarantee that the lazy slackers who cant be bothered to work will be given an opt out of any such scheme. I say "GO FORTH AND MULTIPLY" (or something that means the same).
  • Richard
    This is ridiculous socialist bullshit, we already pay monthly subscriptions in tax and national insurance. So much for free healthcare :-P
  • Helmut
    'Proposed' and 'suggested' have different meanings.
  • LD
    And what about free Dental & Optician's services and work in exchange then? And anyway, why are they so 'special' and allowed to charge?
  • supasumo
    Isn't National Insurance my "membership fee"?
  • Mike
    "Groups entitled to free prescriptions would be exempted." So the elderly generation who will ultimately require the most healthcare get free "membership". Along with those on some benefits. Hmm Sounds like another stealth tax in the making.
  • Billybobjimbob
    News just in: the NHS is NOT FREE, and never has been. I already contribute hundreds of pounds every month in NI, yet still they want more? Would I be able to claim it as an expense like dickbreath MPs surely will?
  • James E.
    The NHS has enough money they just need to spend it better. It needs a massive shake up.
  • Charley
    No comments on something quite important. What a site.
  • Steve
    “Groups entitled to free prescriptions would be exempted.” That'll be Wales, then.
  • Touchwood
    Regressive crap!
  • Paddington
    Is the comment by the " spokesperson for the NHS " correct? " " We must focus far more on HEALTH PREVENTION", I'd really like to think that it is just a typing error, or the said spokesperson accidentally saying the opposite of what they actually meant, however what with " The Liverpool pathway of care" (even the process of homocide by the state in America was more humane, before Europe refused to sell them any more of the drugs because of " the death penalty"), I fear their words are quite intentional. Does anyone remember " Qualies"? ( excuse my more than likely miss-spelling), where they would judge if you were a "valible enough human being to bother spending money to save your life" seriously this was exposed a few decades ago, but we no longer hear about it, not politically advisable I suppose, but the way that the " Liverpool pathway of care" is being used, no matter how well meaning it's origins were, (or were not), but it has been stated as being meant for the terminally ill to have as "good" & painless death as possible, when their Iminment death (short of a miracle - or turning to treatments that "big Pharma" can't make a fortune on, but have a proven track record - on humans & not on lab animals) is inevitable, "Qualies" or the same by another name seem to be very much alive & well ( unlike the victims of this way of deaming whether or not a person is worthy of spending money on to save their life, or to give them treatment that will give them a better quality of life than that which they currently have. Going down the route of that person's actions are responsible for their ill health/injury is a dangerous slippery slope, If one doesn't bother to think about it, one could say, "that person has tried to kill themself, but that person over there was in an RTA, & therefore is more worthy of spending money on", well maybe that person caused that accident, & others were also injured, so who is more "culperable" for themselves ending up in A&E? I do agree that too little time & money is used on preventing ill health, & as for "accidents" why can't countries learn from each other on safety issues?, why do we have to wait for a child in the UK to die ( or more likely not just one child) before known safety issues are addressed? I would love to see a cabinet post for someone to look HOLISTICALLY at our essential services, & the everyday reality of people's lives, after all all this pressure on individual budgets is a false economy, because at the end of the day the money all comes from the same source, the people of this country, & forcing one person to stay "within their budget" can & indeed has increased cost consequences on other budgets. The government is very quick to criticize the public for not budgeting properly, well most people have never been taught, whereas what excuse do Politicians have, who are paid to know about budgets etc?
  • James E.
    Silly website not publishing my comments due to spam. The NHS gets enough money they have just bloated and become stagnant. It needs better purchase groups as when you mention NHS to a supplier the cost goes up 2 fold, it needs better middle management who take responsibility for their trusts. If a private company can make money from this then a public company which does not make a profit should do a better job, yes?
  • Paul f.
    Silly website not publishing my comments due to spam. The NHS gets enough money they have just bloated and become stagnant. It needs better purchase groups as when you mention NHS to a supplier the cost goes up 2 fold, it needs better middle management who take responsibility for their trusts. If a private company can make money from this then a public company which does not make a profit should do a better job, yes?
  • Paula f.
    Silly website not publishing my comments due to spam. The NHS gets enough money they have just bloated and become stagnant. It needs better purchase groups as when you mention NHS to a supplier the cost goes up 2 fold, it needs better middle management who take responsibility for their trusts. If a private company can make money from this then a public company which does not make a profit should do a better job, yes?
  • james
    what about the 10 billion pound a year the nhs lose to fraud and they don't even try to recover properly. last year they lost 10 billion pound in the financial year and how much did they recover 29 million pound. now is it just me or is that a big shortfall. tougher penalties and jail terms need brought in as this has happened for years.
  • you
    They lost nearly 10% of their ENTIRE budget due to fraud? I'm not sure thats accurate.

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