In a new survey by NHS England, more than a quarter of people think the NHS will go the same way as it did under the coalition government.
The survey also found that more than one in five people think that they would not have access to a dental plan if the NHS was in government.
The NHS has been under the spotlight since the Tories took power in May.
Its finances were badly damaged by the coalition’s cuts, which led to the closure of its hospitals and dentists and left it facing an unprecedented £1.6bn in cuts.
It was also hit by an outbreak of coronavirus which killed at least 13 people.
The health service’s chief executive, Sir Andrew Lansley, has blamed the closures on a “culture of fear” and has said the NHS is “totally broke”.
The survey found that nearly half of respondents, or 45 per cent, believe the NHS would be worse off without the Conservatives.
The NHS was one of the key areas where the Conservatives made their biggest gains in the 2015 general election.
However, the survey found people are now more worried about their future health than ever before, with more than half (54 per cent) believing that they will be unable to afford a plan if they are not in government under a new coalition government, while a further 16 per cent said they would be “very worried”.
Survey respondents were asked whether they thought the NHS might go the way of other public services if it was under a different coalition government or the same as it is now.
“The majority of people feel the NHS as a public service is going to be worse in 2020 compared to 2020,” said Professor David Nutt, the director of the Centre for Health and Social Care Research at King’s College London.
“That’s largely because people think it’s going to get worse.
The main reason for that is because of the impact of the recession, and people are worried about how much their own pay is going up.”
“I think that if we can find a way to get the government to do a good job, which they have not done yet, then it will make it worse.”
‘Not the way the NHS works’ The poll also found more people than ever say the NHS should be run more like a public-private partnership, and that it is “not the way it works”.
“As long as the NHS has an NHS director it’s the NHS director’s responsibility to look after the NHS and not make decisions for it, but that’s not the way they operate,” said Dr Amy Breen, a GP who is leading a survey of 1,000 NHS professionals.
“It’s not fair.
They should be doing their job.”
The report also found some people feel more pressure to pay for their care than they have in the past.
Nearly three in five (32 per cent of respondents) said they felt pressure to buy their own dental or orthodontic care.
‘You need to buy a car’ A fifth of respondents (20 per cent), and almost half (47 per cent or 54 per cent in the case of dentists) said that they had already spent more than they had planned on a dental treatment.
In addition, one in three respondents (31 per cent and 29 per cent respectively) said it was “too expensive to have a dentist” in their area.
And more than four in five respondents (78 per cent).
said that their NHS treatment costs were too high, with only 15 per cent (19 per cent at the time) saying it was not.
As the government prepares to introduce its own cuts to health services, NHS bosses have said that the new health secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has been working hard to improve NHS finances.
Dr Nutt said that while he does not believe there is any need for NHS cuts, he is concerned that the current system of private insurance is not working well for the NHS.
He said that “when you think about the whole system that has been put in place in the last couple of years, there are so many different arrangements that are going to need to be made to help people buy private health insurance”.
“There needs to be a better way to do this, but it’s not going to happen without a massive shift in public-sector health spending,” he added.
“You need a big change in the way that we’re spending health money.”
For more information: http://www.nhs.uk/care/health-funding/nhs-and-care-funding-survey