Additional charges could generate around £3bn a year to fund NHS services, a report has argued.
Think tank Reform's report titled The cost of our health: the role of charging in healthcare has called for reforms to prescription charges, daily "hotel" charges for overnight stays, and fines for missed outpatient hospital appointments.
The funding gap facing the service, estimated by NHS England to be up to £30 billion by 2020, is the reason to consider higher charges in future, Reform said.
The think tank's report said most other developed countries commonly charge for a greater range of prescriptions, for visiting GPs and for elements of hospital care. Similar reforms in England could raise up to £1.4 billion, £1.2 billion and £0.2 billion per year respectively.
It has argued for reforms to prescription charges: £668 million to £1.9 billion (£134 million to £1.4 billion addition to estimated revenue for 2013).
An increase in the level of the charge for prescriptions from £7.85 to £10.00, and in the cost of a Prescription Prepayment Certificate from £104 to £120, would raise an additional £130 million annually.
It has also recommended a £10 flat rate charge for GP consultations:, which could raise £1.2 billion, a £10 daily "hotel" charge for overnight hospital stays which could raise £96 million to £193 million.
A £10 fine for missed outpatient hospital appointments, which could raise £55 million a year, was also considered.
However, Reform recommended that any reform should provide exemptions for people on low incomes, although not necessarily all pensioners.
It hasalso argued to move the boundary between health and care to broaden the definition of social care.
It said this would enable more services currently provided free at the point of use by the NHS to be funded through the Dilnot architecture.
Individuals would contribute to the ongoing costs of care at a capped level through mechanisms such as equity release and long term care insurance.
Not only could this bring more money into the total health and care system, it would also encourage greater coordination of social care services and NHS community services, the report concluded.
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'Flexibility and choice can often reduce the cost of employee health cover'