Taxpayer to face £5,000 NHS costs
The average annual cost of the NHS to the English taxpayer is set to pass the £5,000 mark in the next five years, figures show.
The new Government has pledged to spend £8 billion more than the current £115 billion on the health service by 2020.
According to new online medical helpline service Dr Morton's, which is positioning itself as an alternative to NHS 111 or traditional GPs' surgeries, the average taxpayer in England will pay £4,666 this year.
But the service said it has calculated that once the Tories have raised the income tax threshold to £12,500, as they have pledged, fewer people will be contributing, and this along with the increase in spending will mean the average taxpayer will be paying £5,283 per year for NHS services in England - an increase of £617.
Dr Morton's chief executive John Wilkes said the figures would be likely to surprise many who are under the impression the NHS is free.
"We calculated the cost to the taxpayer of the NHS from the latest available data because we think most hard working individuals have no yardstick by which to judge the true cost of good healthcare," he said.
"Just because the NHS is largely free at the point of delivery does not mean that it is actually free.
"We believe many people will be shocked by just how much access to healthcare via the NHS already costs, even though studies have in the past shown that the NHS is very good value compared to other health systems around the world.
"The logical conclusion is that if you are already paying for it you should use it, but as we already know from both GP surgery waiting time and A&E statistics, the NHS is already buckling under the strain."