Published on 16/12/2010
The NHS could save millions if GPs regularly ask their patients if they have private medical cover
, it has been claimed.
According to a survey carried out by ComeRes on behalf of BMI Healthcare, the UK's largest independent provider of private healthcare, despite growing pressures on NHS budgets and resources, only around a third of GPs routinely ask their patients if they have health insurance
This is leading to treatments that could be carried out by the private sector instead being loaded on to the NHS, leading to unnecessary costs and longer waiting lists for the public health service.
BMI estimates that the problem could be costing the NHS £285 million a year.
Adrian Fawcett, chief executive of BMI, said that even a small percentage rise in the number of people using insurance to pay for care would result in significant savings for the NHS.
"The NHS is facing severe pressure on its budget due to increasing healthcare demand from our society," he commented.
"Therefore it is important we widen the sources for healthcare funding, and one of the simplest ways GPs can help do this is by routinely asking patients if they have private medical insurance
and whether they would like to use it to access more timely treatment."
The government has set a target of making NHS efficiency savings of between £15 billion and £20 billion over the next four years.
© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2010Categories: Health Insurance