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    Politics

    Almost half the population is willing to pay for better NHS services

    Nine in 10 survey respondents said the NHS needed reform, more than the number who held the same view public education. prison system or social care

    About half of Britons would be willing to pay for better National Health Service services, according to a new opinion poll that shows the scale of enthusiasm for health reform.

    In The Telegraph's Savanta poll, around 40 per cent of respondents said they were willing to pay extra for faster operations, regular optometrist check-ups and psychiatrist appointments.

    The opinion poll linked public opinion. willingness to pay more to the NHS, waiting lists have reached record levels despite Rishi Sunak's promise to cut them.

    Nine in 10 respondents said the health service needed reform – more than those who held the same views on public education, the prison system or social care. Half of all respondents wanted serious reforms.

    The results raised questions about how voters might react if the party proposed new charges for some NHS treatments.

    Wes Streeting, Labour's shadow health secretary, has spoken out about the need to radically reform the health system and wants to use private provision to ease queues.

    Some political pundits argue that because they created the NHS, Labor is best suited to pass health care reform while keeping the public on our side.

    Chris Hopkins, director of policy research at Sawant, said: “Public support for the NHS remains incredibly high, but our research shows that the public's perception of the state of the NHS is so poor that they appear willing to pay to get the level of care which used to be more accessible.”

    Wes Streeting, the shadow health secretary, has spoken about the need to radically reform the National Health Service. Photo: Hugh Hastings/Getty Images

    Some in Westminster argue that overwhelming public support for the NHS has stymied discussions with ministers about fundamental reform. refrains from proposing new forms of charging for services.

    However, polls suggest many voters might be more open to paying for NHS treatment if it meant they would get it sooner.

    A poll of 2,200 British adults over the weekend found asked one question: “To what extent do you think you are willing or unwilling to pay for each of the following services?”

    Out of 10 services on the list, only one saw that the majority of people said they were willing to pay for faster service – faster vaccinations for travel abroad.

    Among other services, about four in 10 were willing to pay for faster treatment. This included 42 per cent of respondents willing to pay for faster dental check-ups, 40 per cent for faster major surgeries, 39 per cent for faster optician check-ups, 38 per cent for faster minor surgeries and 38 per cent for faster psychological check-ups. make an appointment with a doctor.

    While one reason for preparedness may be NHS waiting lists, another may be that a large proportion of the population already effectively pays for healthcare through private health insurance, potentially shaping wider views of NHS services.

    The survey also found a willingness to pay higher taxes in exchange for more funding for the National Health Service, despite the overall tax burden already approaching its highest level in 70 years.

    Funding the NHS with a one percentage point increase in the top rate of income tax, the basic rate of income tax or the national insurance rate was supported by a majority of voters.

    There was no discernible difference in results between Conservative and Labor voters, suggesting these views are widely held regardless of party affiliation.

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