New figures indicate a welcome 30% rise in the number of private patients paying for their own treatment.
Data released this week by the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) reveals self-funding hospital-based private treatment in the first half of 2021 made up a third (32.9%) of all private admissions for the first time.
It said: ‘Figures show that for the quarter running from April to June 2019, 50,000 people opted to self-fund private treatment, while for the corresponding months in 2021 – as the pandemic restrictions eased – 65,000 people chose this route.
‘This indicates a rise of 30% in people self-funding treatment between these two periods. Self-paying is at its highest among 60 to 79-year-olds.’
Hips and cataracts
Self-pay growth is said to be particularly evident for some procedures including cataract surgery and hip replacement. Both are now more commonly self-funded than paid for through insurance.
For hip-replacements, 2,200 people paid for their procedure through insurance in the quarter from April to June 2019, while 1,700 self-paid.
Figures for the corresponding quarter in 2021 indicate a reversal in the way people fund their treatment, with 4,700 using their own money compared to 2,500 using insurance, PHIN said.
For private cataract operations, 7,300 people used an insurance policy in the quarter from April to June 2019 while 8,100 self-paid. In the same quarter this year, 6,100 used insurance compared to 11,400 self-paying.
Media sources are spreading PHIN’s message to would-be self-payers to thoroughly research their care options and the costs.
It is telling people who are thinking of self-paying to ask if their hospital and consultant offer a package price.
Latest NHS figures show waiting lists are up to 5.7m.