Think-tank backs health insurance

The NHS should be scrapped and replaced with a two-tier insurance-based healthcare system, think-tank Reform has suggested.

In a report published this week, the think-tank said the UK came at the bottom of league tables on a range of health indicators.

Reform called for radical changes, which would see the NHS transformed into a National Health Protection System. Each patient would have a tax-funded premium of £2,000 to spend with a health insurer of their choice.

Those who chose to spend more would be able to buy rare drugs and luxury care in a supplementary insurance market. The government's role would be restricted to that of a regulator.

Reform argues that its scheme would combine universal coverage with greater choice and competition. It would also give patients greater incentives to look after their own health.

Nick Bosanquet, professor of health policy at Imperial College London, said that the ideas in the report 'amount to a right to buy for healthcare'.

Reform launched the report on Tuesday at an event with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

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