The “health of the nation” has been the focus of the last twelve months of everyone’s lives. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel with the commendable vaccination programme being delivered by our NHS Heroes.
With the potential lifting of restrictions comes both economic and health challenges. Our NHS is going to require serious funding to re-configure and adjust to the future needs of the UK. The immediate challenge is the enormous backlog that has built up in all forms of medical treatment and diagnosis together with the huge legacy of mental health issues.
Is it time, therefore, for the private sector and more importantly private health insurers to work collaboratively with each other and astutely with the NHS to meet the challenges we face? It is commendable that private hospitals such as The Bupa Cromwell are dedicating beds and facilities to “long covid” patients. Equally commendable is the private hospital sector assisting the NHS with both Cancer and Cardiovascular waiting lists. But when we realise there may well be over 4 million citizens potentially on long waiting lists for elective medical problems how can our industry help with this?
Well, a good start would be if the health insurers considered an alternative approach to “pre-existing conditions”. Is there a solution to consider more general acceptance of these medical underwriting problems? Cost plus solutions with stop-loss insurance back-up for instance? Co-insurance for consumer PMI maybe another approach. International “Medical Passports” enabling treatment in other countries around the World, particularly Europe; Canada and Asia/ Middle East?
The industry needs to step up to the plate and consider a working party made up of health insurers, healthcare providers, private sector hospitals, intermediaries, third party administrators and NHS representatives.
A collaborative working party would help design sustainable solutions that would help address challenges and deliver a health care service that would continue to lead the world. Our team of specialists at the Santé Group would certainly like to contribute and volunteer our years of industry experience to a working party such as this.