Should We Have to Pay a Membership Fee to Help Save the NHS?

3rd April 2014

A new report by influential think tank Reform and former Labour health minister, Lord Normal Warner, states that in order to help save the NHS it needs to turn into a ‘National Health and Care Service’ (NHCS), with integrated health and social care available in local communities and consolidation of hospital specialist services on fewer sites of higher quality.

To help fund this, the report proposes that a œ10 a month membership fee should be introduced, as well as other patient contributions. While NHS taxes should not rise above inflation, it claims any shortfalls could be made up through measures such as increased prescription charges, charges for overnight stays in hospitals and placing higher taxes on alcohol, tobacco and sugary foods. Changes which have been estimated to yield over œ6billion a year.

With the NHS facing a major cash crisis, with services being cut back and staff pay being frozen, new streams of funding like this certainly would benefit the organisation and its local community health services. It could help provide better resources, equipment, and care for patients. But are these proposed changes really suitable?

The proposed NHS membership, for instance, would include yearly health MOT checks for patients, in which they can set new responsibilities for both the NHS and the individual. But with many people struggling to get by in the current economic climate, œ10 monthly membership fees and additional charges could hit vulnerable people and those on lower incomes hard. What’s more, some may say charging patients goes against the principles of what the NHS stands for in the UK.

People who are opposing this report are arguing that the government should commit to funding the NHS properly and stop wasting money that could be spent better on frontline care.

What are your thoughts on the findings of this report? We’d love to hear your views on either Facebook or Twitter.

Categories
Archives

Further Reading…

The Walton Centre ‘Home from Home’ 2 Years On

6th December 2016

Fletchers are proud to have been able to sponsor and fundraise for many charities over the years, and two years ago our Chairman took on a tremendous challenge to fundraise for the Walton Centre’s ‘Home from Home’ appeal.

Looking to make a claim?

Get in touch now to start your journey

Talk to us now on

03300 080 321

  • Top Ranked Leading Individual - Chambers UK 2016
  • The Sunday Times Top 100 - Best Companies To Work For 2016
  • The Lawyer UK200 - Listed Firm 2015
  • The Law Society - Clinical Negligence
  • The Legal 500 - Leading Firm 2015
  • The Investors In People Awards 2016 - Winner
  • Lexcel - Excellence in Legal Practice Management and Client Care
  • IIP - Investors in People
  • sia - Spinal Injuries Association
  • MASS - Motor Accident Solicitors Society
  • Apil - Association of Personal Injury Lawyers
  • Headway - The Brain Injury Association
  • avma - Action Against Medical Accidents
  • Backup Trust - Transforming Lives After Spinal Cord Injury
  • Child Brain Injury Trust