The NHS, the health secretary has revealed how much it costs NHS for missed appointments.
Jeremy Hunt also said he did not have a problem with the idea of charging patients for missing GP appointments.
People would have to “take personal responsibility” for the way they use NHS resources if a “fantastic” service was to continue, Mr Hunt said.
The NHS estimates more than 12 million doctors’ appointments are missed every year – costing the taxpayer £160m reports BBC.
Earlier this week, the government announced plans to display the cost of prescription medicines to taxpayers on packets.
The figure and the words “funded by the UK taxpayer” will be added to all packs costing more than £20 in England.
The move is part of efforts to reduce the £300m bill for “wasted” medication, which is prescribed but not used.
Mr Hunt told the audience in Essex he did not have a “problem in principle with the idea of charging people for missed appointments.”
But he added: “I think in practical terms it could be difficult to do but I’ve taken a step towards that this week by announcing that when people do miss an appointment they will be told how much that’s cost the NHS.”