Free at the point of delivery – reality or political mirage? Case studies of top-up payments in UK healthcare

Document type
Charlson, Paul; Lees, Christoph; Sikora, Karol
Date of publication
1 April 2007
Health Services
Social welfare
Material type

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The report showed that 'top-up health payments', extra private payments to supplement care provided by the NHS, were becoming common across UK. What was urgently needed was a proper debate on the future of healthcare funding, covering both tax and independent financing, based on the fundamental NHS principle that care should be universally and equitably available. By perpetuating the political mirage of a service completely free at the point of delivery, debate was conveniently stifled.

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