More patients ‘top up’ NHS care

More patients are going private, say Doctors for Reform
More patients will have to pay ‘top-up’ fees for private care because of budget cuts in the NHS and long waiting times, a group of doctors say in a report.

Doctors for Reform says the idea that health care is free across the UK is now a “political mirage”.

The group has written to Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt calling for a debate on NHS funding.

A Department of Health spokeswoman said patients had always had the choice of paying for private healthcare.

The report, published by Doctors for Reform, was written by three doctors, including Karol Sikora, professor of cancer medicine at Imperial College School of Medicine.

Mr Sikora said: “Having to ‘top-up’ NHS care is a reality for many patients.

“But the political debate continues to perpetuate the mirage of a service completely free at the point of delivery”.

BBC NEWS | Health | More patients ‘top up’ NHS care

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