Personal Health Budgets, Top-Ups and Co-Payments
Last Updated: March, 2019

The concept is that Each patient will be given a fixed budget for their health care. A patient can use this money on whatever they like from physiotherapy sessions, gym membership or a new bicycle. The concept of Personal Health Budgets is not new. They have been given to people requiring personal care for years. Now they are being gradually extended to cover all health care. Pilots are being rolled out. They are being sold as  choice  and empowerment.

They actually represent the end of the free at the point of use health service, and the creation of the self-paying health consumer in a market for health care.

What happens when your personal health budget runs out? Answer: you top it up; but only if you have the money to do so! So they undermine the fundamental NHS principle of equity of care, and push people towards private health insurance. Corporations offering health insurance can't wait.

In 2013 bestmedicalcover.co.uk (a private medical insurance company) launched an advert falsely claiming that the NHS had been responsible for 13-thousand needless deaths since 2005, adding health insurance could quite literally save your life. The Advertising Standards Authority upheld complaints and the advert was withdrawn.

Also see  National Health Service Co-Funding and Co-Payment Bill