Raising funds: A former health boss wants over-60s to start paying for prescriptions
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‘Charge hospital patients £8 a day and make over-60s pay for their prescriptions’ suggests former NHS trust chairman, in a bid to help the struggling health service

  •  Professor Stephen Smith wants the charges to pay for medical equipment
  • In Germany patients are charged €10 (£8.50) a night for 28 days maximum
  • A record 6.6million people are waiting for routine NHS treatment, records say 
  • Keep Our NHS Public called it: ‘a departure from the  principles of the NHS’
  • Critics said it would end the foundations the health service has had since 1948 

Patients should pay a fee of up to £8 for every day they are in hospital, a former health boss has suggested.

Professor Stephen Smith called on ministers to bring in charges to help cover the cost of expensive medical equipment.

The former chairman of the East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust also proposed that people aged 60 and over should start paying for prescriptions.

Raising funds: A former health boss wants over-60s to start paying for prescriptions

Raising funds: A former health boss wants over-60s to start paying for prescriptions

But critics said the proposals would end the foundations on which the health service has operated since it was set up in 1948.

Setting out his ideas in a new book, Professor Smith suggested patients pay between £4 and £8 up to a maximum of 28 days a year to help the struggling NHS.

The idea is modelled on Germany’s system where patients are charged €10 (£8.50) a night. Professor Smith said: ‘I think the public would be prepared to pay some additional charges. Means testing would ensure the poor were not affected unfairly.’

Rishi Sunak ory leadership hopeful has vowed to make cutting NHS waiting lists his ¿number one public service priority¿ if he becomes the next prime minister

Rishi Sunak ory leadership hopeful has vowed to make cutting NHS waiting lists his ‘number one public service priority’ if he becomes the next prime minister

But he was accused of promoting ‘hare-brained ideas’ and ‘zombie policies’ by the co-chairman of campaign group Keep Our NHS Public. Dr John Puntis said: ‘Charging people to cover part of the cost of a hospital stay would be a fundamental departure from the founding principles of the NHS and show that the long-standing consensus on a tax-funded public service model of healthcare has been truly abandoned.’

Tory leadership hopeful Rishi Sunak has vowed to make cutting NHS waiting lists his ‘number one public service priority’ if he becomes the next prime minister.

A record 6.6million people are waiting for routine NHS treatment, figures show.

Keep Our NHS Public co-director Dr John Puntis said: ¿Charging people to cover part of the cost of a hospital stay would be a fundamental departure from the founding principles of the NHS and show that the long-standing consensus on a tax-funded public service model of healthcare has been truly abandoned'

Keep Our NHS Public co-director Dr John Puntis said: ‘Charging people to cover part of the cost of a hospital stay would be a fundamental departure from the founding principles of the NHS and show that the long-standing consensus on a tax-funded public service model of healthcare has been truly abandoned’

Mr Sunak has pledged to eliminate one-year NHS waiting times by September 2024 – six months earlier than planned – and to get overall numbers stable by next year.

Leadership favourite Liz Truss has promised to appoint a ‘strong’ health secretary if she wins the keys to No 10 and said a prosperous economy will be needed to tackle the backlog.

The Department of Health and Social Care declined to comment last night.

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