To ask the Secretary of State for Health, pursuant to his contribution on 16 July 2015, Official Report, column 1112, and with reference to the contribution of the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in his Department in the House of Lords on 9 June 2015, Official Report, column 283, what his policy is on the exploration of alternative charging systems or different funding systems for the NHS; if he will make it his policy not to bring forwards proposals in the present Parliament to (a) introduce and (b) plan for further charging for healthcare or related services currently provided on the NHS; and if he will make a statement.
8 September 2015
The Government is committed to the fundamental principles, outlined in the NHS Constitution and underpinned by legislation, that the National Health Service provides a comprehensive service available to all, with access based on clinical need not ability to pay, and funded through national taxation.
Rising demands and continued fiscal constraint means that the NHS faces challenges in ensuring that it remains financially sustainable in the future. The Government believes that the answer to these challenges lies in changing the way services are delivered and keeping people well and independent for longer, not in altering the fundamental principles that underpin the NHS.