Why should the consumer be aware of the cost If the service is “unrationed”, free, comprehensive and cradle to grave?
The public has no idea how much common NHS procedures cost, with half of people underestimating the cost of a birth by almost three quarters.
A report has found that people in Britain have a “staggering and destructive ignorance” about how much their treatments cost the public purse.
Three quarters of people neither questioned the cost of a procedure nor worried that their free treatment could be taking help away from someone in greater need, according to the research by Benenden Health.
One in ten polled admitted either lying to their doctor, or knowing someone who had lied, about being depressed or suffering low self-esteem in an attempt to get free cosmetic surgery.
John Giles, medical director of Benenden, said: “As a nation we have lost touch with the role we should play in our own health and wellbeing, expecting the NHS to pick up the pieces.”
The National Health Report 2015 asked 4,000 people to put a figure on how much certain procedures and treatments cost. Some 47 per cent of people thought that a natural birth in hospital cost less than £500. Overall, respondents put the cost at £1,288 whereas the true figure is £1,824.
•The phenomenon known as “baby brain”, whereby expectant mothers become more absent-minded, does not exist, according to a study. Researchers at the University of Western Ontario put 54 volunteers through memory tests and found that pregnant women did just as well as other women and in some cases better. The researchers said that women’s brains may be supercharged by pregnancy to help prepare them for the challenges of motherhood.