In light of the growing uncertainty over NHS funding which is prompting more people to consider paying for private healthcare, the leading global health and care company, Bupa, has issued a ‘rallying cry’ to the independent healthcare sector to fight harder for affordability, customers and to be bolder in talking about its contribution to the UK healthcare system.
It comes after the company claims that 70 per cent of its customers think those who pay for healthcare are relieving pressure on the NHS, and 52 per cent said that ‘rationing of services’ would prompt them to consider purchasing health insurance. In addition, as Bupa alleges the government is ‘punishing customers’ who choose to purchase private health insurance, a 66 per cent increase in insurance premium tax in less than 12 months has seen many policies rise on average by £52.50.
CEO of Bupa Insurance, Alex Perry, told an audience at the Private Acute Healthcare Conference on October 12: “When 70 per cent of the public think that people paying for healthcare are relieving pressure on the NHS, we need to be clearer about our contribution to the wider UK healthcare system.
“This means addressing rising costs, achieving price increases from providers for health insurance customers below the rate of inflation and challenging government on IPT – a punishing tax on those choosing to pay for a service that’s effectively reducing the burden on an increasingly strained NHS. The sector also needs to prove that it’s delivering the highest quality healthcare, showing the general public as well as Government that we can deliver a best-in-class, seamless customer experience.
“At a time when people are acutely aware of NHS funding constraints, we need to be bolder in our approach to delivery and how we speak about it. Only by demonstrating quality, customer experience, and affordability can we make independent healthcare an easier choice for people and their families.”
The challenge set to all providers by Bupa is to speak more boldly about the quality and value of independent healthcare to the UK; invest in higher quality, easier to access care; and to maintain price increases from providers for health insurance customers below the rate of inflation.