NHS charges 'should target the rich and elderly', says King's Fund think-tank
New charges should be introduced for richer patients and pensioners and for visiting the GP, a major new study concludes today.
A Commission set up by the respected think-tank the King’s Fund says it could be necessary to raise money from wealthier patients to meet the long-term care needs of those who cannot afford to pay.
It also suggests the exemption from prescription charges for those aged over 60 could be removed or increased to 65, saying not all pensioners are poor.
Extending charges for dentistry could also increase revenue, while a fee for visiting the GP – of between £5 and £25 – could also be introduced.
The report also floats the idea of charging outpatients £10 for hospital appointments, while those who fail to turn up could also be charged as a penalty. Costs for hospital stays or hospital treatment might also have to be considered. It argues the changes are required to end the “lottery” of care that exists with local council cutting back on social care while NHS budgets are ring-fenced.
Another recommendation is for health and social care services in England to be merged with a single ring-fenced budget, as the report argues the separation between the NHS and social care is no longer “fit for purpose”.
“The contrast between a health service free at the point of use and a social care service that is means tested – and publicly funded only for those with heavy needs – results in a lottery, the type of ailment you have will determine the financial support you get to cope with its effects,” it says. “The outcome is that there is no equity.”
The Commission on the Future of Health and Social Care in England was established by the King’s Fund to provide fresh ideas for a problem.
The commission’s chairwoman, Kate Barker, said the situation was unsustainable.
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£65000 - £80000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Finance Director required to jo...
£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique opportunity fo...
£50000 per annum + 26 days holiday,pension: Ashdown Group: A highly successful...
£27000 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: A Quality Technician...