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Government plans inquiry that could mean end of NHS free at point of use

BMJ 2015; 351 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h3971 (Published 21 July 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;351:h3971
  1. Ingrid Torjesen
  1. 1London

The Department of Health for England is considering an inquiry to look at how the NHS should be funded to ensure its future sustainability, which some doctors fear could put in jeopardy a founding principle of the NHS: that it is free at the point of use.

The inquiry was suggested during a House of Lords debate on the “sustainability of the National Health Service as a public service free at the point of need,” which took place on 9 July.

At the end of the debate the parliamentary undersecretary of state for NHS productivity, David Prior, said that he was interested in meeting Narendra Patel, who moved the Lords debate, and “two or three others” to discuss how an independent inquiry looking into the long term sustainability of the health service might be framed. He did not think that the inquiry would need to …

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