In a New Year message to NHS staff, the Prime Minister indicates people may have to fulfil new "responsibilities" in order to establish their entitlement to care.The new conditions could be set out in a formal NHS "constitution", Mr Brown says.
In his open letter to doctors, nurses and other health workers, the Prime Minister promises to press on with Tony Blair's reforms of the NHS, pledging more personalised care for all patients.
He adds: "We will also examine how all these changes can be enshrined in a new constitution of the NHS, setting out for the first time the rights and responsibilities associated with an entitlement to NHS care."
Creating formal conditions for treatment would build on recent controversial developments in health policy.
Despite the NHS commitment to provide free universal care, it is already common for doctors to set conditions on patients seeking treatment.
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