Two thirds of patients think the NHS has not improved in the past 10 years, a poll shows.
The British Medical Association (BMA) surveyed general public opinion to fuel their debate about an independent NHS.
It found that only one in four people believe the NHS has improved under Labour control.
Three out of five people, 60%, agreed with the BMA's proposal to put an independent board of governors in charge of the NHS but a resounding 93% said the NHS should continue to be free and funded from UK taxes.
Just over half, however, said that they would be happy to pay a small fee for a service with limited resources.
Another 80% said that doctors should play a major role in deciding how money is spent within the NHS, and what is best for patients.
Three quarters of those surveyed said that the NHS should provide the same set of nationally-agreed services across the country.
The BMA is gathering opinions from the general public to develop their discussion paper, "A rational way forward for the NHS in England: an alternative approach to health reforms."