NHS leaders in Scotland discuss a ‘two tier’ system that would see wealthy patients pay for own treatment

NHS leaders have discussed having wealthy patients pay for treatment, according to reports.

NHS leaders in Scotland have discussed having a “two tier” health service where the wealthy will pay for their treatment. They have also raised the idea of reducing the number of free prescription drugs as Scotland records significantly long A&E waiting times.

The BBC reports that they have seen draft minutes of a meeting of NHS Scotland health board chief executives attended by NHS leaders such as Scottish Chief executive Caroline Lamb and Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf. According to the BBC, the meeting began with an update surrounding recent conversations with the Chief executive and raised suggestions that hospitals should curtail their appetite for risk by looking to send patients home more quickly, and pause the funding of some new drugs.

The meeting highlighted concerns for the NHS including a "billion pound hole" in the budget and whether the NHS could continue to offer its range of programmes and deliver services safely whilst “doing no harm." Those in attendance were given a “green light” to offer ideas of reform with the minutes noting that "fundamental reform" of the primary care model "must be on the table".

Immigration minister Robert Jenrick has suggested the government rebukes the idea of introducing charges to the NHS. Jenrick told TalkTV: “I haven’t seen the story about Scotland.

“We certainly don’t have any intention to introduce charges to the NHS. There is an issue with people still not coming forward post-pandemic with conditions and the NHS has been surprised by people’s reluctance to present themselves for a range of different conditions.”