Independent practitioners have voiced optimism of a significant bounce-back in private practice work this year.
Covid-19 saw work volumes plummet in the independent sector in 2020, but a new poll found there is now cause for considerable optimism.
Six in ten expecting to see their volume of work increase in 2021, according to a defence body survey.
The MDDUS said the anticipated bounce-back marked a substantial improvement in the optimism being felt by private practitioners, particularly when taken against a current position of radically reduced consulting figures.
Among the 298 private clinicians who responded to the survey, 52% identified that their private work had dropped by more than half because of Covid-19.
Some necessary adaptations to working practices would now be welcomed by clinicians if they remained in place for the long-term.
Doctors said remote consultations allowed them to see more patients and to consult with patients further afield than the local practice area if help was needed.
Infection control and the ability to email prescriptions to local pharmacies were also cited as positive changes.
Chief executive Chris Kenny said doctors’ subscriptions had been cut as members notified changes to their incomes.
He said many private doctors were encouraged that they would see work volumes pick back up again as patients and insurers sought to expedite delayed elective treatment.