Internet searches for private care soaring

By Robin Stride

Interest in private healthcare is surging, with online searches for a range of healthcare-related terms soaring.

‘Private healthcare’ has jumped by 45% year on year and ‘private health insurance’ by 31% when comparing the three months from January to March 2023 to the same period in 2022.

Searches for ‘private GP’ shot up by 50%, while ‘private hospitals’ saw an increase of almost 15% and ‘private blood test’ rose by over 21% when comparing the same periods.

‘Bupa’ jumped 25%, ‘AXA Health’ 34%, ‘Benenden Health by 43%. ‘Vitality’s 0.13% increase still racked up 428,488 searches.

The analysis was carried out by digital marketing agency MediaVision using its proprietary Digital Demand Tracker tool, part of its Metis technology that analyses UK search data from AdWords and Google Trends.

Louis Venter, chief at MediaVision, said: ‘This growth in online searches tracks against the increases in turnover and the new product launches announced by many of the top UK private healthcare providers in the last couple of years. 

‘They’re keen to take advantage of a rapidly growing market. And if the predictive nature of search is anything to go by, we are likely to see this consumer behaviour continuing.

‘It seems that “going private” is no longer just for the rich – many people seem to be willing to dig into their savings to circumvent the continuing pressures and delays facing the NHS, particularly for surgeries like knee and hip replacements.’

Top performing private health search terms (vs January-March 2022)

  • ‘Private GP’ +49.97% 
  • ‘Private healthcare’ +45.18%
  • ‘Private health insurance’ +31.42%
  • ‘Private blood tests’ +21.51%
  • ‘Private hospitals’+14.68%.

More detailed information and analysis on the search data is available at MediaVision’s website, detailing the growing interest in privatehealthcare: