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Patients could turn to health insurance to beat NHS waiting times

Published on 18/05/2010
Conservative plans to scrap waiting-time targets could lead to a greater uptake in medical insurance, it has been claimed.

Under Labour, NHS hospitals were given a target of
no more than 18 weeks in the time they took to deliver treatment.

But new health secretary Andrew Lansley has pledged to scrap this and other NHS targets, replacing them with outcome measures of care designed to rate the overall quality of service provided.

According to Jill Watts, chair of the NHS Partners Network, which represents private suppliers of NHS care, the proposed changes will lead to an increase in the time it takes patients to receive treatment on the NHS.

"Waiting times will go up and if people want a procedure they have a choice: they can wait or they can look to pay," she told the Financial Times.

In addition, the NHS is likely to face budget cuts in the coming years, further increasing the likelihood of patients turning to private healthcare.

"As some areas start to tighten their belts, if it is harder to get certain procedures ... then there will be things that people will be prepared to pay for," Ms Watts said.

Her comments follow a recent announcement by the new health secretary that the "substantial increase" in NHS funding seen under Labour is unsustainable for the future.
© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2010


Categories:  Health Insurance
Patients could turn to health insurance to beat NHS waiting timesConservative plans to scrap waiting-time targets could lead to a greater uptake in medical insurance, it has been claimed.Under Labour, NHS     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile
 

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