Chief Executive responds to Times article on NHS top-up payments
16th October 2013
Today, (16th Oct) Marc Bell, Chief Executive of benenden responded to a front page article in the Times with the headline ‘Patients must pay extra for NHS, leading doctor says’:
“The Times article outlines the taboo subject of top-ups within the NHS. It points to the fact that patients are already asked to pay for additional services such as parking and for some treatments like osteopathy. While President of the NHS Clinical Commissioners, Dr Dixon, believes that doctors need to think of ways of raising money for the NHS, Benenden Health would prefer that doctors concentrate on patient care and allow other methods of funding to pay for services and treatments.
The real issue here is the role of the private sector in our beloved NHS and asking patients to make additional payments for their healthcare that go on to benefit private organisations. This is why we have long advocated the role of the mutual, not-for-profit sector in the provision of co-payments. This does not need to be an expensive perk for the wealthy but something that the vast majority of the public can contribute to and call upon when necessary.
This is not an easy discussion to have, especially given the economic climate, but we do need to have it and look at all the options on the table.”