The NHS Confederation2 recently warned the number of people waiting for NHS treatment could double to 10 million by the end of the year, because of the Covid-19 crisis. Cancer Research estimates that 2.1 million people have missed out on screening; 290,000 people with suspected symptoms have not been referred for hospital tests and more than 23,000 cancers could have gone undiagnosed during lockdown. The pandemic has shone a spotlight on the importance of health and wellbeing like never before
Coming out of the crisis, many people want to ensure they and their families can get access to medical advice and treatment, when it’s needed most. Recent research3 revealed that 27% of people said they would pay for private healthcare, compared to 15% in 2019. Some CLA members may be considering paying for private healthcare themselves (or in the case of business members, their employees) for the first time to avoid NHS waiting lists.
What are the benefits of private healthcare?
Some of the key benefits in investing in private medical insurance include:
- Reduced waiting times – Having medical insurance often allows access to get quicker treatment particularly for non-urgent treatment
- Access to virtual GPs – Many insurers offer a 24-hour virtual service, providing an initial assessment in the comfort of your own home.
- Faster track services – Some insurers provide faster track services for some conditions such as mental health, cancer, and physiotherapy, to help individuals access treatment more quickly.
- Convenience and peace of mind – Treatment can be planned to suit busy lifestyles and commitments.
- Greater choice – Individuals can usually choose the hospital and treating consultant from a list of specialists.
- Control over treatment – In the private sector a consultant will often be able to prescribe the latest drugs without worrying about NHS funding and the Postcode Lottery.
- Treatment not available through the NHS may be funded privately, as can getting a second opinion.
- Privacy and quality care – In the private sector not only can people choose the hospital but many policies offer the choice of a private room with en-suite facilities and far more freedom on visiting hours than is possible in the NHS.
- Specialist mental health services – Many Private Medical Insurance policies can provide mental health support services quickly and discreetly.
Supporting a healthy workplace
For rural businesses, there is a real opportunity to better engage staff by investing in employees’ health and wellbeing. Providing effective health benefits can have a positive impact on businesses starting to recover– boosting people’s productivity, engagement and loyalty, as well as reducing the risks of costly absenteeism. Where private medical insurance may not be an affordable option, cash plans and virtual GP services offer cost-effective alternatives.
Specialist advice for CLA members
For members considering private healthcare options for the first time or individuals, seeking independent advice is important. It can be a complicated area to navigate and speaking to a broker can save time and money and ensure the right cover and the right benefits are offered at the right price. CLA Healthcare will conduct a free market review for members. Speak to our specialist team on 01274 717361 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more