NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


February 9, 2007

Almost four out of ten general practitioners (GPs) have so little faith in Great Britain's National Health Service (NHS) that they would rather be treated privately, a survey shows.

  • Of the 600 family doctors questioned, 28 percent have actually taken out private medical insurance to avoid being treated on the NHS, and a further 10 percent said they would opt for private treatment if they or a relative fell ill.
  • GPs have enjoyed huge pay rises since a new contract was brought in three years ago; their average salary is now more than £100,000 (about U.S. $195,000) a year.
  • Family doctors were more likely to go private than colleagues in NHS hospitals. Across all the 1,700 doctors surveyed by Hospital Doctor magazine, an average of 22 percent have medical insurance, and 33 percent would prefer private treatment.

A spokesman for the Patients Association said, "It's disappointing that many doctors don't seem to have much faith or trust in the NHS. Maybe they're concerned about infections or the lack of resources. But what about those of us who don't have a choice?"

Conservative health spokesman John Baron said, "It is a sign of low morale among doctors if a third of them want to go private.  It's a function of the fact that the Government is not allowing them to get on with the job and is meddling too much with all their targets."

Source: Daniel Martin, "A third of GPs have private health insurance," London Daily Mail, February 8, 2007.


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