NHS users should pay £10 a month, says former health minister

nhsEveryone in the UK should start paying a £10-a-month NHS “membership charge” to save it from sliding into a decline that threatens its existence, a former Labour health minister has urged.

Lord Warner, who served under Tony Blair, warns that the NHS will become unsustainable without new sources of funding and painful changes.

“Many politicians and clinicians are scared to tell people that our much-beloved 65-year-old NHS no longer meets the country’s needs,” Warner writes in the Guardian.

“Frankly, it is often poor value for money. The NHS now represents the greatest public spending challenge after the general election. MPs taking to the streets to preserve clinically unsustainable hospital services only damage their constituents.”

Warner, in a report he has co-authored for the thinktank Reform, says dramatic action is needed as the NHS faces an expected £30bn-a-year gap by 2020 between the demand for healthcare and its ability to respond, and needs several new funding streams to remain viable.


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