The Rise of Private Medical
The Rise of Private Medical
"Profit driven hospital firms are experiencing 15-25% year on year rises in 'uninsured' self payers, mainly driven by long wait times for non-urgent surgery."
- Intuition Communications research
When I came across this information in The Guardian I was amazed at the increase in numbers in people paying their own way for private medical treatment. The costs referenced in the article varied from £1,850 at the lower end to £14,880 at the higher.
At the same time, the latest official NHS performance stats reveal more than 4 million patients are waiting to be admitted to hospital in England to have surgery, the highest number in 10 years. So I guess you can see that people are getting fed-up and going down the self payer route.
I wanted to look in to how this impacts employers, as it would be reasonable to assume that there are a large number of people either hindered at work or off work completely waiting for treatment.
Nearly a third of fit notes issued by GPs are for psychiatric problems, says an NHS report.
This makes them the most common reason for people to take time off work, ahead of musculoskeletal diseases. There was a 14% rise in notes relating to anxiety and stress between 2015-16 and 2016-17.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists said the findings were "alarming" and pointed to a need for more to be done to help get people back to work.
Furthermore, musculoskeletal* issues are another of the biggest causes of health at work issues, with 44% of employers citing musculoskeletal injuries as one of the top causes of absence, according to Simplyhealth.
*Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are injuries or pain in the human musculoskeletal system, including the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and structures that support limbs, neck and back.
With these issues being on the rise, and the treatment only coming after longer and longer wait times this must have a significant negative impact on the employees first and foremost, and the business after that.
A reduction in moral and engagement can be damaging to both an individual employee and to the wider team, not to mention the more obvious direct impact of having a valued employee off work.
The UK’s largest annual survey of sickness absence rates and costs shows that sickness absence was an average of 2.8% of working time per annum, or 6.5 days per employee, during 2014.
This translates to a total averaged cost of £16 billion per year.
XpertHR’s research findings are based on data provided by 670 organisations covering just under two million employees, making it the largest survey of its type at this time.
What the above doesn't reveal is what proportion of these employers offered their people private medical insurance. It would stand to reason that if employees receive treatment sooner, they will be able to return to health and work sooner.
What are the costs involved?
Private medical insurance costs from £200 to £1,500 per employee depending on factors such as the level of cover, the employee’s age, location, claims experience and scheme size.
If you would like to know more about Private Medical insurance please get in touch.