Health secretary Jeremy Hunt has said taxes may need to go up in order to generate additional funds for the NHS.
During an appearance on ITV's Peston on Sunday, Mr Hunt was pressed about speculation in the Sunday Times that the NHS could be set to see a £4 billion-a-year funding increase.
While he would not be drawn on whether or not this is the case, he stressed that extra resources for healthcare could need to come from taxation.
"We are a taxpayer-funded system, so in the end if we are going to get more resources into the NHS and social care system, it will have to come through the tax system and also through growth in the economy," Mr Hunt said.
The health secretary went on to state there is "no doubt" that NHS staff are working "unbelievably hard" and that they need to feel confident about the future.
However, he said the "real concern" for many is the "rather crazy way we have been funding the NHS over the last 20 years", as there has been a "feast or famine" approach during this time.
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