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Soaring private healthcare use piling pressure on NHS GPs

A survey by Pulse has found that soaring use of private healthcare for tests and treatments is piling pressure on overstretched GP surgeries, with family doctors warning that standard NHS care is being squeezed as a result.

Record numbers of people are paying for private healthcare, with some having procedures such as cataract surgery and hip replacements, amid mounting frustration at NHS hospital waiting lists. Others are opting for private health checks, genetic testing or cosmetic surgery such as liposuction.

But the surge in private healthcare use is increasing the workload of GPs, many of whom say they are increasingly having to interpret questionable health checks done privately, organise blood tests or scans and manage additional administration related to private care. Some say more of their hours are being taking up providing follow-up appointments after patients paid for treatment or surgery abroad.

Full article in The Guardian, 29 October 2023

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