Published on 31/07/2012
An increasing number of GPs are asking patients if they have health insurance, according to a new survey.
Spire Healthcare, a large private hospital group, carried out a poll of more than 1,000 GPs across the UK.
It found that 58 per cent of doctors are asking more patients if they have health insurance than they were 6 months ago.
In comparison, when the same question was asked last year that proportion was just 24 per cent. Dr Jean-Jacques de Gorter, clinical services director for Spire Healthcare, said:
“It’s good to see more and more GPs asking their patients about private treatment. The private sector has an important role to play working alongside our excellent national healthcare system in the UK.”
Whilst the survey showed that 54 per cent of doctors report feeling comfortable when directing patients to private treatment, 36 per cent feel uncomfortable about doing so.
Charlie MacEwan, corporate communications director at insurer WPA, commented that these doctors “need to understand that private healthcare supplements and complements the great work of the NHS rather than competing with it.”
Dr Jean-Jacques de Gorter believes that by encouraging patients to use their health insurance, GPs can save the NHS a significant amount of money and help make the most of their NHS budgets.
Experts believe the NHS Choose and Book system has helped to raise awareness of private healthcare with GPs. Choose and Book is a national electronic referral service which gives patients a choice of place, date and time for their first outpatient appointment in a hospital or clinic.
© ActiveQuote Health Ltd. 2012Categories: Health Insurance