A study from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) said taxes will have to rise to protect the future of the National Health Service.
The report suggests UK householders will need to pay an extra £2,000 a year in tax, to help the NHS cope with demands of an ageing population amid unprecedented pressures on the health system.
Both the IFS and fellow thinktank the Health Foundation believe high taxation is the only option to prevent a decline in the NHS, which celebrates it 70-year anniversary on 5 July.
'UK spending on healthcare will have to rise by an average 3.3% a year over the next 15 years just to maintain NHS provision at current levels, and by at least 4% a year if services are to be improved, the IFS report said.
NHS Confederation chief executive Niall Dickson described the report as a 'wake-up' call.
He added: 'Over the next 15 years in the UK, there will be four million more people over 65 and the prospect of a 40% increase in hospital admissions and further large increases in the number of people with numerous long-term conditions.
'It is now undeniable that the current system and funding levels are not sustainable. Without new ways of delivering services and sustained investment, NHS and care services will not cope, and we will face a decade of misery in which the old, the sick and the vulnerable will be let down.'