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Should we be forced to pay for NHS healthcare?

There was a rather alarming piece in one of the Scottish newspapers earlier this week which seemed to suggest that the Scottish government, or at least the Scottish NHS, is actually considering charging patients up to £200 a night for staying in hospital!

While there is no doubt that the cost of the NHS and other public services has increased dramatically over the last 20 or 30 years, surely our taxes should cover taxpayers for periodic health care?

While it is unlikely that the SNP, the ruling party in Scotland, will actually implement any partial privatisation of the Scottish NHS the very fact the subject has been mentioned is a concern. Surely taxpayers in the UK will have a potential legal challenge if they were charged for basic healthcare provisions which many believe should be funded by their taxes?

There is no doubt that further pressure on the public-sector budget will bring to the fore similar situations in the short to medium term and similar discussions. While in general taxpayers in the UK believe they are aware of the services which their taxes fund, is now the time to formally legalise and ring fence the services which UK taxpayers can expect?

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