With routine operations delayed and NHS waiting lists growing as a result of the first wave of Covid-19, even NHS doctors are turning to private health insurance to give them and their families priority access to medical treatments, a new survey finds.
myTribe Insurance, a leading Health and Life Insurance advisory service based in Bournemouth commissioned the survey after seeing an uptick in private health insurance enquiries from NHS staff. The survey, which contacted 1.800 NHS workers, found that over 50% either had a policy or were actively considering taking a policy out because of the pandemic.
The Manchester Evening News recently reported that over 1500 staff at Salford Royal were off sick at the height of the pandemic, mainly self-isolating. That was of course the right action in the circumstances, but you cannot have that level of absence for weeks, or months, and still offer comprehensive free health care for all – something has to give.
The results of the survey were:
- 36% already had a health insurance policy
- 22% were actively considering taking out a policy
- 41% were happy to use NHS services
- 17% hadn’t thought about it
The survey also found that Consultants and Surgeons were most likely to have private health care insurance, followed by Physicians and then GPs. As you might expect, Nurses and Junior Doctors were amongst those most unlikely to have private health insurance.
The full findings of which NHS workers have private health insurance were:
- Consultants (73%)
- Surgeons (72%)
- Physicians (65%)
- GPs (53%)
- Psychiatrists (48%)
- Radiologists (43%)
- Paediatricians (37%)
- Obstetricians (33%)
- Gynaecologists (31%)
- Nurses (19%)
- Junior Doctors (12%)
- Others (18%)
Peter Grandby, of myTribe Insurance, said,
“It’s little wonder that frontline NHS workers are taking extra precautions to protect themselves and their families, after all, they see first hand the strain the NHS is currently under.”
“As the pandemic continues and the risk of a second wave looms, we anticipate seeing more people who previously might not have considered private health insurance getting in touch. We may be getting to a point where private health insurance is no longer a luxury, but a necessity for some.”