Controversial new NHS plans could see people charged £8.50 if they call a doctor to their home out-of-hours, it has been revealed.
The move, which has been devised as a way of generating additional funds by the NHS Confederation, would also see hospital patients having to pay for meals on top of increased charges if they wish to watch television on their ward.
Mike Farrar, chief executive of the confederation, said the NHS is facing "severe pressure" on its finances and needs to make changes.
"We need to talk openly and honestly about why our Health Service needs to change. We cannot risk the wheels coming off and patient care suffering," he told the Daily Mail.
The proposals have been criticised by the Patients Association. Katherine Murphy, chief executive, said being able to call out a doctor or have a meal while in hospital are "key tenants" of the NHS and any changes to that would be in effect a "patients' tax".
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