NHS Charging

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Health – in the House of Commons at 11:30 am on 22nd March 2005.

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Photo of John Reid John Reid Secretary of State, Department of Health, The Secretary of State for Health 11:30 am, 22nd March 2005

On one of the hon. and learned Gentleman's points, additional funding will go with the new arrangements. Secondly, we offer equal access to everyone in a faster and comprehensive fashion by increasing investment year on year. Thirdly, it would be a disaster to reverse that, since he believes, as I do, that equal access to health care means that access to speed of treatment should depend entirely on clinical need and not on the amount that one can afford to pay. It would therefore be a disaster to withdraw investment and ask patients to pay to get quicker operations, and we have no intention of doing that.