Think tank: ‘Raise taxes to pay for increasing NHS cost’

Higher public funding is the best way to meet the growing cost of the NHS, an Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) report has said.

The think tank argues that healthcare spending will rise, as people live longer and expectations grow. But it says that experiences from other countries suggest that increased reliance on private funding often result in spiralling costs and widening health inequalities.

Continuing growth in tax funding is the best way to keep a lid of health costs, it says.

‘We can’t afford not to fund the NHS publicly,’ said IPPR director Lisa Harker. ‘The NHS’s future and the public’s health needs can only be met efficiently by future governments raising increased resources for healthcare collectively.’

The report argues that, while private funding has a role, any move towards top-up payments or drug charges should be cautious, to prevent the emergence of a ‘two tier’ NHS.

It also recommends maintaining the rules that restrict GPs’ private practice.

Institute of Public Policy Research

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