Private healthcare is only going in one direction of usage – higher!
That was the message from the Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) chief executive Dr Ian Gargan at LaingBuisson’s Health Cover conference in London.
Ahead of the meeting, the data organisation released new figures showing there were more private inpatient/day-case admissions (820,000) in 2022 than in any previous year since it began collecting information.
At 207,000, the total for the fourth quarter of 2022 was the highest for any individual quarter so far recorded by PHIN. The 2022 annual total was 5% higher than 2021 and 8% higher than 2019 before the Covid pandemic.
Dr Ian Gargan
Dr Gargan said: ‘There is a whole combination of factors influencing this growth, with the long NHS waiting lists and uncertainty around how long you’ll be waiting certainly key among them.
‘We know that everyone loves and respects the NHS and its hard-working staff, but people are increasingly investigating healthcare alternatives.’
He believed the private sector had worked with the NHS since its inception and would continue to do so. ‘We see it as a “twin track” approach, with both the public and private sector working together to ensure everyone gets the treatment they need.’
PHIN meanwhile continues working with NHS England on the ADAPt project, aimed at bringing together and sharing data from both sectors ‘to help present a fuller picture of healthcare in the UK and allow better planning and resource management’.
Year Total admissions Difference with 2022 (%)
2022 820,000 N/A
2021 757,000 -5
2020 525,000 -36
2019 779,000 -8
2018 755,000 -8
2017 761,000 -7
2016 730,000 -11