"Only a Royal Commission will get us talking sensibly about the NHS" says ex-Heath Secretary Norman Fowler in an article published in the Telegraph.


Conservative Health Secretary from 1981 to 1987, Norman Fowler, has joined the call for a Royal Commission into the financial stability of the NHS. In the article, published in the Telegraph on the 16th December, he says that "there has never been a better time to explore new ways of raising money for the health service". 

A Royal Commission, he fears, could be seen by some as a subversive way of inviting privatisation, something which he eloquently argues against. He highlights the need for a rethink on NHS funding, that clearly 100% governmental subsidization will not cover the growing demand and increase in expensive technology.

"There is a growing public realisation that there are factors at work which no political party can do anything about."

A Royal Commission, as NHS Survival has been campaigning for, would look at evidence from other health care systems, as well as locally and nationally, in conjunction with independent cross-party reviewers. This would allow for an exploration of a variety of options to ensure sustainable funding for the NHS. These include (but are not exclusive to) a health tax, charges for missed GP and outpatient appointments, a range of prescription charge exemptions and a health insurance system.

"A Royal Commission should look carefully at (other countries') experience."

NHS Survival welcome Baron Fowler's call for a commission and invite him to work with us to push the government to start an independent cross-party commission. Lib Dem and Labour MPs have been lobbied for months by NHS Survival, and having an ex-Health Secretary agreeing with NHS Survival's campaign bolsters the position that a sustainable NHS is only achievable through cross-party working.

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