A right-wing think tank today called for drunk NHS patients to be fined and prescriptions for common pain killers to be scrapped.

The report by 2020Health said treatment for conditions such as acne should not be provided on the NHS, with resources being diverted to tackle "serious illness".

Responsibility in Healthcare claims that millions are wasted each year on treating obesity, sexually transmitted diseases and alcohol abuse which are a consequence of "bad lifestyle choices".

Chief executive of 2020Health Julia Manning said: "The universal healthcare system is at the core of our society, but too often it is treated with the same casual regard as calling for a taxi or booking a train ticket.

"We must encourage people to be more in control of their own health. It's reassuring to know that the NHS is there for you, but that doesn't mean you should be free to routinely end up there after a night out."

She said the NHS should not spend money on treating "minor ailments" and instead patients should be left to cope for themselves.

The report says no cosmetic procedures should be available on the NHS at all.