Patients could be required to stop smoking, take exercise or lose weight before they can be treated on the National Health Service, Gordon Brown has suggested.
In a New Year message to NHS staff, the Prime Minister indicates people may have to fulfil new “responsibilities” in order to establish their entitlement to care.
Despite the NHS commitment to provide free universal care, it is already common for doctors to set conditions on patients seeking treatment.
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence already considers so-called self-induced illnesses in setting the criteria that determine which patients should qualify for new or expensive health treatments.
“We will describe how we will achieve our shared ambition of an NHS which is more personal and responsive to individual needs,” the Prime Minister writes.