Private healthcare the ‘ new normal’ in the UK? – Healthcare Economist

Perhaps so, according to the health policy editor of the guardian. he writes that As the NHS weakens, private health insurance is becoming a more attractive option.

The long delays in NHS care that are now endemic (and cause so much worry, risk and harm to those left waiting) are not going to improve any time soon, as Institute of Fiscal Studies said last week.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies report said it could be months before hip or knee replacement surgery or even cataract surgery to improve vision is performed.

Because of these issues, private insurance is growing in the UK.

Recent Healthcode figures…showed a record number of procedures carried out on people with private health insurance (PMI) in private clinics and hospitals during 2023 – more than £4 billion in activity…Recent Healthcode figureswhich tracks the use of private healthcare, showed that record numbers of procedures were carried out on people with private health insurance (PMI) in private clinics and hospitals during 2023 – more than £4 billion in activity.

Common procedures that patients receive through private health insurance include blood tests, knee replacements, peripheral nerve blocks, eardrum surgery, and tonsil removal.

Additionally, private hospitals in England are providing more care to NHS patients, similar to how the VA may outsource some care to private providers. In fact,

…private hospitals in England are carrying out a record number of procedures on NHS patients, paid for by the NHS: 1.67 million last year, up from 1.3 million in 2019.

Many employers also offer private health insurance to employees as a benefit to attract and retain talent.

The article concludes with the following:

Even a Labor government committed to reviving the NHS will not seek to disrupt its growing interdependence with the private sector. A patient’s desperation increases a private provider’s dividends, yes, but it also means that person receives care that the weakened and overwhelmed NHS can no longer provide when needed. Tragically, that won’t change anytime soon.

A recent daily mail article provides some statistics.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

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