2023 has started with worrying news about the deepening NHS crisis.
In the wake of Covid-19, NHS waiting times have hit a record high with the latest figures showing that almost 7.21 million people are waiting for treatment, with nearly 3 million patients waiting over 18 weeks. Wait times for cancer and mental health treatments remain high with waiting lists for gynaecology, dermatology and cardiology growing the most over the last year.
This will be a cause of concern for many CLA members.
How much of this is down to the pandemic?
The pandemic is one reason for the current NHS emergency but it’s not the only cause. Some feel that this is an issue that has been building for many years and a lack of funding and resource, staff shortages, an ageing population and shortages in adult social care have all created a perfect storm. One which many believe will take years to weather.
The reality is that the number of people being added to the NHS waiting list has risen faster than the numbers coming off it.
The rise in private healthcare
Worried by long waiting times for diagnosis and treatment, more people are now turning to private medical insurance (PMI) for themselves, their families and where relevant, their employees.
Over the last twelve months, PMI insurers have reported that half a million more people have bought private healthcare. And research from the Independent Healthcare Providers Network highlights that one in five employers are considering offering private medical insurance to their staff in the coming year — rising to almost four in ten (37 per cent) of businesses with more than 1,000 employees.
It’s important to recognise that private medical insurance is not designed to replace the NHS, rather to complement it. But at a time when waiting lists show little signs of abating and people face ongoing uncertainty about when their treatment and procedures will take place, choosing private healthcare is a trend we expect to see continue.
So what steps can CLA members take to look after their own health & wellbeing?
The first step is to speak to CLA Healthcare. Our team of specialist independent advisers can understand and assess your specific needs and review the market to find the most appropriate healthcare solutions to meet your requirements.
Whether you are looking for individual cover, healthcare for your family or want to provide benefits to your employees, all members are entitled to a free healthcare insurance consultation to explore the options available with an adviser.
And if you already have healthcare insurance in place, we can review your current arrangements to ensure they continue to offer you the cover you need and represent good value. Last year, we saved CLA members an average of 27% on their annual premiums.
 NHS England