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Date: 18 Sep 2015  Written By PPF
People currently with private medical insurance must be wondering why governments seem to want them to use the NHS. Look at recent government actions: Gordon Brown stopped tax relief on private medical costs and has driven about half a million people to give up on paying their own way in healthcare. Now the present government - probably by accident - has increased the cost of medical insurance by including it in the blanket increase in Insurance Premium Tax. That puts a straight 3½% onto premiums that are already going up inexorably with medical inflation and age. What effect will that have? It will drive more people out of private healthcare. It’s worth remembering that everyone who uses private healthcare makes the NHS better for those who cannot afford or don’t want to go private - because there is more NHS to go round fewer patients… Now some may say that this rise serves them right for buying privilege! That’s a point of view but when the effect o...

Date: 11 Apr 2014  Written By -
PPF ran a news item reporting a story in the FT on 2 April 2014. It was about cash payments to privately insured patients facing complex and expensive treatments who use the NHS. It can be seen on our main site - see  news story . This report prompted Bupa to contact PPF and to make some points which included one highlighted here: “They [ insured customers ] can choose to use it [the cash payment option ] or go private, they make that choice.”  PPF says that really matters: the patient makes the choice. There is a lot for patients to consider. Bupa mentioned some research from Demos ( Paying the Price ) which was specifically about cancer. It makes interesting reading. One of its recommendations (page 11 for the NHS point 3) is to ‘ Make chemotherapy and radiotherapy available in local treatment centres , reducing the need for people to travel long distances to hospital.’ There are some oncologists who think that the UK has too many cancer...

Date: 10 Jun 2013  Written By -
The Competition Commission may already be having an effect on transparency in pricing in the private healthcare sector. The newly formed - or, at least, renamed - Association of Independent Healthcare Organisations (AIHO) has announced some good news.  We can now compare prices for self-pay procedures between the principal hospital groups.This may be the beginning of a move to make buying private healthcare easier and more straightforward. That is something that the Private Patients' Form warmly welcomes. When you know what it will cost, you can make your choice with more confidence. Have a look at the news item on our website  'how to compare hospital costs'.  Let us know how you get on with this modest advance - it may be the forerunner of some real progress in transparency!

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