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Health insurance companies may exploit top-ups decision, warns union

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Unison has warned that health insurance companies may try and cash in on the government’s decision to allow patients to ‘top up’ their NHS care.

The union warned that the decision on Tuesday by health secretary Alan Johnson to allow the fees could create a ‘two-tier’ health service, with more wealthy patients able to afford better care.

Karen Jennings, Unison head of health, said: ‘The big insurance companies are rubbing their hands together at the top-up announcement this week.

'People will fear that treatment will not be available on the NHS when they need it and turn to insurance companies to fund the gap.
‘It is a very slippery slope.

'UNISON believes that introducing top-ups will create a two-tier health service and undermine the founding principles of the NHS.’

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