Gordon Brown warns of Tories testing the water for two-tier healthcare
Ideas such as Sajid Javids suggestion that patients should be charged for visiting GPs or hospital emergency departments show the Conservatives are testing the water for a different kind of NHS, Gordon Brown has said.
Writing in the Guardian, the former Labour prime minister says payment for services will end up with people missing early diagnoses and undermine the entire basis of the NHS.
Javid, the Conservative former health secretary, told the Times on Friday that the NHS could not survive much longer without radical change, including regarding some fee payments.
Javid, who will stand down as a Tory MP at the next election, cited as possible examples the fee of about 20 required of patients to see a GP in Norway or Sweden, and Irelands charge of 75 for people who arrive at a hospital A&E without a referral.
Javids intervention was, Brown wrote, no accident, noting that Rishi Sunak used the services of private healthcare and, when, campaigning to become prime minister, had proposed a charge for people who missed GP appointments.