Bupa issues rallying cry to independent healthcare sector

12 October 2016 . United Kingdom

  • 70% of the general public believe those paying for healthcare are relieving pressure on the NHS
  • Government needs to recognise the role of independent healthcare in a sustainable healthcare system

Today, Bupa will issue a rallying cry to the independent healthcare sector to fight harder for customers, affordability and to be bolder in talking about its contribution to the UK healthcare system.

Growing uncertainty over NHS funding has prompted more people to consider paying for healthcare. 52% said that rationing of services would prompt them to consider purchasing health insurance and 70% of people think those who pay for healthcare are relieving pressure on the NHS.

This comes at a time when Government is punishing customers who choose to pay for independent health insurance. A 66% increase in insurance premium tax in less than a year has seen customers’ health insurance policies rise on average by £52.50.

Speaking at the Private Acute Healthcare Conference Alex Perry, CEO of Bupa Insurance said: “When 70% of the public think that people paying for healthcare are relieving pressure on the NHS, we need to be clearer about our contribution to the wider UK healthcare system. This means addressing rising costs, achieving price increases from providers for health insurance customers below the rate of inflation and challenging Government on IPT – a punishing tax on those choosing to pay for a service that’s effectively reducing the burden on an increasingly strained NHS.

“The sector also needs to prove that it’s delivering the highest quality healthcare, showing the general public as well as Government that we can deliver a best-in-class, seamless customer experience.

“At a time when people are acutely aware of NHS funding constraints, we need to be bolder in our approach to delivery and how we speak about it. Only by demonstrating quality, customer experience, and affordability can we make independent healthcare an easier choice for people and their families.”

Over three quarters (78%) of Bupa customers expect their insurer to pursue value for money on their behalf and 73% agree health insurers should stop working with a hospital if they believe its charges are unreasonable.

Bupa will be challenging providers to invest in higher quality, easier to access care; to speak more boldly about the quality and value independent healthcare brings to the UK system; and to maintain price increases from providers for health insurance customers below the rate of inflation.

Notes to editor

About the research – consumer polling

Between 28 and 29 September 2016, Censuswide conducted online interviews with 2,002 UK adults, aged 16 and over.

About the research – IPT figures 

The Association of British Insurers published these numbers as the second Insurance Premium Tax rise came into effect. For more information, click here.  

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

With no shareholders, our customers are our focus. We reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

Health insurance accounts for the major part of our business with 16.7m customers and contributes around 75% of revenue. We operate clinics, dental centres and hospitals in some markets, with around 15m customers. We care for around 22,300 residents in our aged care businesses in the UK, Australia, New Zealand and Spain.

We directly employ around 80,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, Chile, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Turkey, the US, Brazil, the Middle East and Ireland. We also have associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

For more information, visit www.bupa.com.