Free at the point of access

It is vital that the health and social care system remains true to the principles of the NHS – publically run and free at the point of access.

Why the contribution is important

To erode or privatise the health system would lead to further health inequalities and poorer health for all. Although money alone is never the answer, the health and social care system needs to be adequately funded in order to operate efficiently. The focus on finance means that all changes and operations come from the point of view of money not quality. This leads to short term thinking which can never improve care. If funded properly and time for the changes being made to embed, DHSC could deliver excellent quality health and social care for all.

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by Nicola2IOMGov on July 31, 2018 at 04:48PM

Current Rating

Average score : 3.6
Based on : 3 votes


  • Posted by DocMills August 03, 2018 at 10:15

    The NHS isn't totally 'free' and never has been.

    Prescriptions and dental work have to be paid for (by some), expensive drugs and new technologies are restricted, and if you get dementia expect to spend all of your savings paying for nursing care.

    And, apart from the cost, there's an additional problem with 'free' - it isn't properly valued. Appointments are missed, GP time is wasted with coughs and colds, prescriptions are taken but not used, etc.

    Why should it be free? Is food free? Heating, lighting, water? Why should a millionaire get free prescriptions?

    Access to NHS services should be fair (and our current approach to nursing costs isn't), but it doesn't need to be 'free'.
  • Posted by NCarter August 05, 2018 at 09:01

    Agree with DocMills
  • Posted by MarkC August 05, 2018 at 20:06

    Once you start moving away from the principles of the NHS the rot begins, slowly going back to the old system of good health support only for those who can afford it. To help ensure a good standard is maintained it is important for all to be able to avail themselves of the service equally. Otherwise a two tier system will develop. Funding via tax is fair as it means we all pay for the service as a percentage of individual income and so within our individual circumstances, hence why there should be no difference in the services provided between those with higher and those with lower financial resources. For making the system more effective greater focus needs to be given to the early identification and treatment of health problems before they become worse and complicated. This has proved successful in many European health systems for improving health and reducing costs. Early identification of problems also means better planning of medical resources and actions can be achieved.
  • Posted by manxklookie August 07, 2018 at 14:29

    Totally agree with DocMills on this but as we are effectively all paying for the NHS via the NHI contributions we should expect to receive timely treatment and not have to consider also funding private treatment because of long NHS waiting lists for routine operations etc.
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