Ipsos Mori have just published Understanding Society – Great Britain: The way we live now.

It’s got a big section on health and Public Opinion on the NHS.

Which of the following statements best reflects your thinking about the NHS?

Which of the following statements best reflects your thinking about the NHS? (%)

The proportion of the population agreeing that the NHS ‘will face a severe funding problem in the future’ has increased to 88%

When 1,009 people were asked if they agreed with the statement: ‘As long as health services are free of charge, it doesn’t matter to me whether they are provided by the NHS or a private company.’  47% of people disagreed, an increase of 11 percentage points on the number of people who disagreed when asked in February 2011. However, people were less likely to be against external providers who are charity or voluntary organisations.

Almost half those polled  agree that, ‘if people choose not to take care of their health, the NHS should be able to limit the treatment it offers them for free’ (47% versus 33% who disagree).

The proportion agreeing that the Government should influence behaviour is lower in the UK than most countries.

It is the government’s responsibility to influence people’s behaviour to encourage healthy lifestyles (%)

It is the government’s responsibility to influence people’s behaviour to
encourage healthy lifestyles (%)

Only five per cent of the British public strongly believe it is the job of the NHS to keep people healthy – a far greater proportion (39%) strongly believe it is the individual’s responsibility to keep themselves healthy.

There is some very interesting material on public attitudes to government interventions to change behaviour – a fizzy drinks tax for example.

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