A leading "non-governmental" think-tank has advised the NHS that patients should be charged to use its services. It's suggesting a £10 levy on GP appointments as well as "hotel fees" for inpatient stays in NHS hospitals, see: http://www.express.co.uk/news/health/443851/Paying-10-to-see-your-GP-will-help-raise-billions-for-the-NHS. This may sound shocking, and on one level it is; but should it be? Since the early days of Margaret Thatcher's government in the 80's the line has been repeated again and again and again: "No matter what reforms the government brings in, the NHS will still always be free. There will never ever be charges to the patient... we promise!" And every time that cliche was uttered so many of us knew that it was a lie. It was told for two reasons: the short memory most people have for important matters between sport and soap operas; and this strange notion that it doesn't matter what the government does, so long as they say nice things to us. The organization behind this report is called Reform and it describes itself as "dedicated to setting out a better way to deliver public services and economic prosperity". It describes itself as "non-party", yet its director Andrew Haldenby is also linked to the Centre for Policy Studies dedicated to neoliberal economics and also the Conservative Research Department which is a part of the ruling Conservative Party. As I said in a previous HPWA article, this is not news, it is "un-news", see: http://hpanwo-hpwa.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/the-nhs-to-be-privatized.html. I would be very surprised if this advice to the Government is not taken, what's more they'll find some bait in the trap too! Some piece of propaganda to justify it, like this: http://hpanwo-voice.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/health-tourism-crackdown.html. Even the above Daily Express article is gushing over how many "billions" this move will save the taxpayer.