Responding to the Conservative Party's health policy consultation document Setting Patients Free, The King's Fund health policy director Steve Dewar said:
'The Conservatives' proposals put the principle of equity at risk. The relatively wealthy are more likely to use the NHS passport, which will take NHS resources out of the public system and leave a reduced service for the rest.
'Undoubtedly, patients must be offered more choice when it comes to their health care. But we have to build capacity for this to happen. This means training more doctors, nurses and other health professionals. The Conservatives' proposals will not do this and, at worse, may act as a distraction to the long-term goal of alleviating recruitment and retention problems in the NHS.'
Notes to editors:
For further information, interviews or copies of The King's Fund report, What is the Real Cost of More Patient Choice?, please contact Daniel Reynolds in the public affairs office on 020 7307 2581 or 07831 554927.