How Private Medical Insurance can relieve pressures on the NHSThe NHS has provided everyone across the UK access to good healthcare, regardless of income, for almost 70 years. However, over the past few decades with longer life expectancy and a rising population, the NHS is under increasing strain to provide the same level of care without increases in its funding. You may already be familiar with some of the benefits of private medical insurance (PMI) including shorter waiting times, specialist care and a greater spread of choice over your care. But what about the benefits to the NHS?
Ease NHS waiting listsOne of the main reasons many opt for PMI is to avoid long NHS waiting times. An analysis from the NHS Partners Network suggests the number of patients waiting longer than the initial 18-week treatment target is set to increase from approximately 364,000 to between 584,000 and 809,000 by 2020. Furthermore, the total number of patients waiting for treatment after
The PMI sector can facilitate the NHS in meeting overall waiting time objectives which can ease some of the pressures faced by NHS staff. The Association of Independent Healthcare (AIHO) believes that the NHS should continue to
Relieving Financial PressuresOne example of some of the financial challenges faced by the NHS is the number of trusts that have experienced a sharp financial deficit since 2009. The NHS spent 3.5% of the UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in its infancy in the 1940s; this has increased substantially to 10% as of 2017. Between 2012-2016, the percentage of trusts in deficit increased from 11% to almost two-thirds of trusts at 65%. Most recently, NHS trusts reported a deficit of £886m between January and August in 2017.
Private medical cover facilities already contribute substantially to the NHS. In 2016, it was reported by the AIHO that income received by NHS trusts from PMI facilities rose by 23% in the previous four years. Chief Executive of the AIHO at the time, Fiona Booth, said the “profits made were re-injected back in the NHS in providing services”.