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Patients driven to pay for private surgery due to long waits

The Independent reports that the number of British people choosing to pay for private hospital surgery has soared with the total amount spent doubling in six years to £1.1bn.

According to market analysts LaingBuisson, widespread NHS rationing of treatments and record waiting lists have helped deliver a 7.4 per cent real-terms growth in self-paying patients between 2014 and 2018. The analysts latest report forecasts the market will continue to grow to £1.3bn by 2021.

The report also found NHS hospitals were increasingly profiting from the treatment of private patients, with total revenue from NHS-run private units up 3.2 per cent to £677m in 2018-19, with particular growth in obstetrics and cardiology. There was also evidence that the waiting time for diagnostic scans such as MRI, CT and ultrasound was also driving people to pay for the tests.

Full story in The Independent, 19 January 2020

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