Should healthy people be rewarded with tax rebates?

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‘Payment by results’ scheme is suggested by think tank

Incentive schemes such as tax rebates should be used to encourage people to give up smoking, stay slim or drink less, recommends think tank 20/20 Health.

With NHS costs sky rocketing, the scheme would aim to push more patients to be responsible about looking after themselves and avoiding damaging habits, as well as managing conditions such as diabetes successfully.

Rewarded for looking after health

The report. written by Julia Manning and Gail Beer, proposes a ‘payment by results’ system. “A financial reward for people who become active partners in their health, whereby if you, for example, keep your blood sugar levels down, quit smoking, keep weight off, or take on more self-care there will be a tax rebate or an end of year bonus,” they explain to The Guardian.

GP’s could monitor patients’ habits, while the payments family doctors receive for performing certain checks on or interventions with patients and patients’ electronic medical records would also underline such a system.

“The use of incentives is a decision for local public health services. We believe that making sure people have the right information to make choices about their lifestyle is key,” said The Department of Health.