Proposal to give NHS patients £2,000 healthcare premium.

The think tank Reform has set out radical proposals to transform the NHS into a National Health Protection System, with individuals choosing their health provider.

Under the proposals, individuals would be awarded a healthcare protection premium of £2,000 per year to spend as they chose.

Health protection providers could offer a range of extra services such as gym membership and rebates for healthy living – for example, giving up smoking – to attract customers.

Individuals would be able to top up their premium to pay for extra services, such as particular drugs, cosmetic surgery or better accommodation in hospitals.

Andrew Haldenby, director of Reform, said: “The Olympics showed that an open-minded, elitist and rigorous approach can put Britain in the top rank of countries. Healthcare is no different.

“The prime minister has said the NHS is the best insurance system in the world. It isn’t yet by any means, but that is the right ambition.”