A compulsory health insurance scheme under which people in the UK would have to pay to see their GP has been outlined to Tory members.
Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith heard proposals for a “fundamental rethink” of the NHS that would avoid the “buffet mentality of ‘take as much as you want, it’s all free’”.
The scheme, suggested by Bow Group, a Conservative think-tank, involves giving each citizen a yearly personal healthcare allowance out of which he or she would have to buy an insurance policy to cover hospital and specialist care.
The system is based on healthcare in Singapore. Each year individuals would be sent an electronic Healthgrant card, similar to bank debit cards.
Each card would contain a certain amount of credit depending on the age and needs of the person. By using their card they can buy a “citizen’s health policy” from one of a number of government approved companies.
At the end of the year people would be able to withdraw the balance and spend it on anything they wanted. This, the group argued, would avoid overspending on healthcare.