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MAGGIE PAGANO: Private healthcare is no longer taboo as NHS waiting lists grow


The Government should put GP receptionists in charge of border control, because that way no one will ever get in.

So goes the joke told to me by a friend who has been waiting for days to see his local doctor. My apologies for being flippant on such delicate topics, but the joke hits two nails on the head perfectly.

Black humor has a way of getting to the root of a problem. Sadly, it describes very well the desperation felt by the thousands of people who are unable to see their GP.

Many of them have decided not to bother. Instead, they are turning to private healthcare in staggering numbers, as evidenced by Britain’s largest insurer, Aviva.

Over the past year, 170,000 new health insurance customers have signed up, either directly or through their employer.

Waiting Lists: Over the past year, 170,000 new health insurance clients have registered, either directly or through their employer.

Aviva now has one million private healthcare clients, making it the third largest after Bupa and Axa, which also report a big turnaround in new hires.

You can see why. Waiting lists are at a record high, with 7.6 million people in England waiting for routine NHS treatment in June.

Two out of five patients wait four months. With the young doctors on strike again, it will only get worse. Yet getting to see a GP remains the biggest bottleneck in many parts of the country.

Unlike most European health services, you can’t get into the system in the UK unless you go through a GP, another reason the process needs radical overhaul.

A doctor friend who runs a nearby private practice suggests that GP surgeries should adopt more of a triage process, operating more like mini A&E departments so that the sick are seen more quickly and then receive treatment.

Booking urgent appointments before the 8 a.m. deadline is also foolish, he says, and only creates more roadblocks.

Breaking the GP logjam is essential, and the main reason why private health insurance will soar even higher.

Aviva boss Amanda Blanc says demand for services like digital GPs via video and text is huge. So is the demand for scans like MRIs and CT scans.

Aviva has been smart to deliver on this: its venture capital arm has invested in diagnostic imaging company Scan, which allows patients to book their own scans.

What this means is that more people gain access to otherwise underutilized NHS capacity.

Being private works well even without private insurance: a friend had a heart problem a few months ago and was able to speak to a GP at Cambridge Private Practice via Zoom, and get scanned, within days of the first hospital consultation Nuffield local. . The cost was £500 including the forecast. The needs must

Having private health insurance is no longer taboo, and it’s no longer exclusive to the wealthy and middle classes.

Aviva says insurance applications come from a much broader, younger demographic.

More companies than ever are enrolling their staff in health plans in the quest to improve their overall “wellness.”

Some may see this growing trend as a back door privatization of the NHS.

A more sensible view is that, for some, going private is the only way to get through the GP’s front door until the NHS undergoes more fundamental reform.

hard core

Inflation is finally falling, and falling fast. That is the brightest news.

Less good is that core inflation remains sticky, wage growth is strong while productivity remains flat.

It’s not much of a recipe, which means it’s an absolute certainty that the Bank of England will raise interest rates next month and later in the fall.

Small businesses and homeowners will be hardest hit.

If he raises rates, the danger is that the Bank will trigger a recession, pushing many of the SMEs the country depends on for animal spirits and causing a housing collapse.

Maybe that’s the Bank’s policy?

If not, it should explain why the higher tariffs will reduce external factors that mostly have to do with supply chains, still abnormally high energy costs, and a tight labor market with 2.6 million out of work due to illness. .

That is not the solution we need.

going dutch

The Netherlands, the fifth largest economy in the eurozone, has followed Germany into technical recession.

The fall in exports, a large drop in households buying basic day-to-day goods, and an increase in imports are the reasons.

Being Dutch is not so attractive anymore.

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Merry C. Vega is a highly respected and accomplished news author. She began her career as a journalist, covering local news for a small-town newspaper. She quickly gained a reputation for her thorough reporting and ability to uncover the truth.

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