Private hospital providers are chasing self-pay patients as NHS waiting lists rise, according to a leading healthcare company.
Spire Healthcare said that the NHS budget cuts and rising waiting lists mean that procedures like cataract removals and hernia repairs are becoming harder to access on the NHS.
Consequently, private providers like Spire Healthcare, Care UK, Ramsay Healthcare and Nuffield are stepping in to meet demand.
William Laing, chief executive of Laing & Buisson, said nearly all the private hospitals were chasing self-paying customers. Rob Roger, chief executive of Spire Healthcare, said: "Waiting lists are increasing and procedures are being rationed.
"If you are an individual over 40 and you have a hernia, you won’t be treated by the NHS, and that’s where our focus will be.”
Patients without health insurance will have to meet the costs of private treatment themselves. At Spire Healthcare, the cost for cataract removal in one eye can be up to £3,123, and for a hernia removal up to £3,785.
Spire said it was expanding its diagnostic capabilities and offering far more complicated medical procedures such as cardiovascular, skeletal, neuro-surgery and cancer treatments.
Care UK, which runs seven NHS treatment centres as well as care homes throughout the UK, is also seeking to expand in the self-pay market.
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