Research compiled by private health insurer BUPA reveals that doctors and consultants are paying for private medical insurance to be treated privately should they become ill.
The findings showed that forty one percent of senior hospital doctors have invested in private health cover. All of those surveyed carried out work in private hospitals and over 90 percent for the NHS but the British Medical Association (BMA) feels this is more likely due to the fact that consultants wish to be treated as quickly as possible so that they can return to their NHS patients, rather than a lack of faith in the NHS.
A spokesperson for the BMA said: “I believe doctors and consultants take out private medical insurance firstly because it offers more flexibility to their clinical commitments as it is often difficult to book leave and the second is the issue of anonymity. Consultants would understandably prefer to be treated at a different hospital rather than their local one in case they are in a bed next to one of their patients”.
BUPA confirms that doctors are among the 10 occupations most likely to take out personal medical insurance and of the 500 consultants surveyed 25% chose to be insured by BUPA and 37% of consultants recommend BUPA to friends and family, closely followed by WPA which 20% would recommend.
Harley Street News update: June 2006