Does UKIP want to privatise the NHS?

Published: 21st Oct 2016

In brief


UKIP want to privatise the NHS.


In its 2015 manifesto UKIP said that it wants to keep the NHS free at the point of delivery. Nigel Farage has suggested introducing an insurance-based model of healthcare in the past, but has since said that UKIP wants it to be free for British nationals and funded through general taxation.

“You [UKIP] wanted to privatise the National Health Service.”

Angela Rayner MP, 20 October 2016

“No, one person said that, read our manifesto, we do not want to privatise the NHS…. we’re very clear about that.”

Lisa Duffy, 20 October 2016

There was no mention of privatising the NHS in UKIP’s manifesto for the 2015 election.

It quoted UKIP MEP Louise Bours saying “UKIP has a clear vision for 21st century healthcare: an efficient, affordable, world-class, national health service, free at the point of delivery and in time of need”. It also committed to funding the NHS to the tune of an additional £3 billion over the 2015 to 2020 parliament and to get rid of the Private Finance Initiative which it described as a way to “privatise the NHS by the back door”.

However, in a public meeting in 2012, Nigel Farage said “I think we are going to have to think about healthcare very, very differently. I think we are going to have to move to an insurance-based system of healthcare. Frankly, I would feel more comfortable that my money would return value if I was able to do that through the marketplace of an insurance company, than just us trustingly giving £100 billion a year to central government and expecting them to organise the healthcare service from cradle to grave for us".

Mr Farage has since said thatUkip is 100 percent committed to keeping the NHS free at the point of use for all British nationals, and the service should be funded out of general taxation”.

This factcheck is part of a roundup of BBC Question Time. Read the roundup.


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