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.