£10 a month 'membership' to the NHS

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£10 a month 'membership' to the NHS

Post by lakeland » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:06 am

I read this article this morning, and wondered what others thought? My initial feeling were 'aargh, slippery slope' but then thought that I'd be prepare to pay that to keep (and perhaps improve) the current NHS. Then I started thinking about better ways to fund the NHS than this, thinking about tax avoidance by large corporations etc and now I'm a bit confused, but am back to my initial response of 'aargh, slippery slope.'

Anyone more articulate and intelligent than me with any thoughts?

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Re: £10 a month 'membership' to the NHS

Post by Spatch » Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:46 am

It's a way, probably as good as several others, and the increasing demands of the NHS means it really does need more money. However, it raises several questions such as:

If you pay national insurance but no £10 fee, are you denied NHS?
Should kids/retirees pay?
Do unemployed people pay it out of JSA?
What more do they get for their annual £120?
How does it work for visitors?

However, I think for me, there will be more questions about how the revenue is collected, enforced and how expectations are managed if people are more obviously paying for it. I can envisage conversations of the "Well, I pay my tenner, how dare you impose a waiting list on me" type.

Personally, I would rather they use the "pay £10 deposit, which you will get back when you attend the appointment" as DNAs are one of the biggest drains, but that's just my view.
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Re: £10 a month 'membership' to the NHS

Post by SkyBlue » Mon Mar 31, 2014 2:24 pm

Honestly, if it improved the waiting times, I'd pay happily. At the moment, healthcare is maybe free, but it takes forever to be seen and treated. My husband just broke his leg, nothing too drastic, but he needed a surgery. He was forever being bumped from one list to another, because he wasn't urgent enough, young enough (not a child), old enough (not an elderly). He was even advised to consider doing it privately, because NHS has 18 weeks (!!) to perform the surgery.

So yes, if it would make a difference, I'd pay £10 to NHS. Still less than private insurance, which is what we will probably end up doing anyway, sooner or later.

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Re: £10 a month 'membership' to the NHS

Post by enid » Mon Mar 31, 2014 3:38 pm

It's the beginning of something that would become much more expensive, in my view. Things always do.

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Re: £10 a month 'membership' to the NHS

Post by Borrowed Cone » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:39 pm

I think it is a ridiculous suggestion and indicative of the current Government's continued drive to starve the NHS of investment so that it fails to provide an adequate level of care, strengthening the argument for privatisation. And yes, I realise the comments come from a Labour peer...

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Re: £10 a month 'membership' to the NHS

Post by eponymous85 » Mon Mar 31, 2014 8:30 pm

The mind is not a book, to be opened at will and examined at leisure. Thoughts are not etched on the inside of skulls, to be perused by any invader. The mind is a complex and many layered thing.

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Re: £10 a month 'membership' to the NHS

Post by miriam » Mon Mar 31, 2014 10:19 pm

This is a bad bad idea. It is designed to make the NHS look expensive and to make it unpopular, and to separate off the NHS costs in a way that will eventually be made to look equivalent to paying for private health insurance but less efficient. If what is needed is the equivalent of £120 per person worth of tax then they need to spend that on it, with a focus on developing preventative and early intervention services, and ensuring a requirement to demonstrate both efficacy and efficiency.

Personally I'd save costs within the NHS by 1) taking out competitive tendering (with its waste of staff time, perpetual organisational change and high spend on managers and lawyers) 2) by unburdening GP time by offering lots more services from nurses and other professionals and 3) by doing loads more preventative and early intervention work. And I'd happily save money by squashing tax avoidance and closing tax loopholes, increasing inheritance tax, upping the higher rate of tax and putting a Robin Hood tax on banking transactions.

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Re: £10 a month 'membership' to the NHS

Post by michael2806 » Wed Apr 02, 2014 4:29 pm

My first thought upon reading this was that it was a good idea. However, on further reflection I think it will do as Miriam said, and reinforce and already often quoted lie from the (now sadly predominantly) right-wing press in this country; namely, that the NHS is inefficient, bloated, too expensive and we should all go for private healthcare anyway. We all know the dire state the NHS is in after 5+ years of underfunding and intentional running down. However, if it needs more money, increase taxation more generally, and in a progressive way, and send more of it to the NHS.

What I find utterly gobsmacking is just how many people don't know how expensive private healthcare would be relative to the NHS. People in the USA spend roughly twice the amount of their healthcare that we do per head of the population, yet they worse healthcare, a more unaccountable system, and massive inequalities in provision. Yes, the NHS needs more money, but people need to be educated about just how efficient and wonderful the NHS is. After that, the notion of introducing a more progressive tax to bolster public services should (hopefully) be more palatable to the public. But I won't hold my breath, as public spending seems to be public enemy number 1 right now.

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