Four out of five GPs back patients making co-payments

79 per cent of GPs believe patients should be able to top up their NHS care with private treatment, according to a survey by independent think tank Reform.

Only 18 per cent support the current system where patients must pay for all their care themselves if they choose to pay extra for a drug or treatment, according to the poll of 201 GPs.

Karol Sikora, a cancer specialist and member of the independent doctors’ group Doctors for Reform, said: ‘It’s quite remarkable that the vast majority of GPs believe in top up.

‘People do it in every other walk of life so why not healthcare? The NHS is not a religion with enshrined founding values. It’s a simple transactional system for medical care.

‘We’ve all paid the insurance premium with our taxes. We need to incentivise for efficiency and provide the freedom for people to contribute to their care as well. Otherwise the ageing population, expensive innovation and insatiable demand will result in financial meltdown.’

Health secretary Alan Johnson said the DoH would review the possible introduction of co-payments last month.

neil.durham@haymarket.com

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