Think tank calls for withdrawal of guidance allowing top-up payments

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 02 February 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b413
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1London

    A health policy think tank has called for the Department of Health in England to withdraw guidance that allows patients to top up their NHS treatment with drugs bought privately.

    The Centre for International Public Health Policy, a health policy research unit that is based at the University of Edinburgh, says that the guidance “is contrary to the goals of the NHS and the principles of universality, equity, and service provision on the basis of need rather than ability to pay.”

    It criticises the guidance for failing to address the “substantive issue of the principles and values of the NHS.”

    Mike Richards, England’s national clinical director for cancer, recommended in November 2008 in his review of copayments that patients …

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