The sick would be urged to stay at home and email doctors rather than visit surgeries, while procedures such as hip replacements could be scrapped.
The plans have emerged as health chiefs draw up emergency budgets that cast doubt on pledges by Gordon Brown to protect “front line services” in the NHS.
Documents show that health chiefs are considering plans to begin sacking workers, cutting treatments and shutting wards across the country.
The proposals could lead to:
• 10 per cent of NHS staff being sacked in some areas.
• The loss of thousands of hospital beds.
• A reduction in the number of ambulance call-outs.
• Medical professionals being replaced by less qualified assistants.
It's encouraging to know that national healthcare works so well in other countries. Just think: America could have the same healthcare system that Great Britain has, complete with budget cuts, closed hospitals, job losses, and other inconveniences to patients. With the recently passed healthcare reform bill, we're already one step closer to such a system.