Public is ‘ready to spend on private care’

Most of the public are ready to spend their money on going to a private doctor if they think it necessary, according to a survey.

As many as 54% of those taking part in the study, by private doctor specialist company Ellerton Marketing, would pay for private healthcare if the need arose.

For the 46% who would not, 20% might consider paying in the event of extended NHS waiting times, poor NHS treatment or for faster referral to specialists (19%). 

When asked about post-pandemic healthcare services, a quarter of participants felt that telephone or online consultations should continue.

The survey received over 500 responses and is broadly reflective of UK demography, a company spokesman said. 

Overall, 44% of participants had paid to access healthcare at some time and 14% had private health insurance.

Asked what a private health insurance provider could do to encourage them to consider moving their policy, responses included: 

 Lower premiums;

 Less red tape; 

 Make things as easy as possible;

 Cashback for healthy lifestyle;

 Include pre-existing conditions;

 Fewer exclusions; 

 Offer an incentive to join; 

 No NHS GP referral.