Medicopolitical Digest

Taxation is fairest way to fund NHSPrimary care will get more R&DNHS salaried doctors given go aheadGMSC will represent “part 1” doctorsDealing with violent patients

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 06 December 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1547
  1. Linda Beecham, Medicopolitical digest is prepared by

    Taxation is fairest way to fund NHS

    General taxation remains the fairest and most efficient way of financing the NHS, and is the method which the public prefers, according to the NHS Confederation.

    In its evidence to the government's comprehensive spending review the confederation says that the next best alternative would be to make greater use of national insurance contributions. The organisation has ruled out patients being charged for GP visits or hospital hotel charges. It points out that charges have never raised more than a small proportion of funds and would have a deterrent effect on people's health.

    The report says that Britain could spend more on health and obtain increased benefits—for example, more rapid access to services and improved quality of life. It recommends an annual real increase of 3%. The confederation says that despite the 1.37% real increase in funding in England for 1997–8 (including the net £239m one off addition), the 1.66% real increase for next year will be substantially eroded to meet current year pressures.

    The report calls for a capital injection to tackle the …

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