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National Health Service Focus in Election Manifestos Won’t Affect PMI Demand

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In light of the upcoming UK general election, the Conservative Party, Labour, and other political parties are placing the National Health Service (NHS) at the center of their manifestos. Despite this, Beatriz Benito, Lead Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, shares her insights on the potential impact on the demand for private medical insurance (PMI):

“The demand for private medical insurance will not be diminished by the promises made by political parties. Concerns about NHS waiting times and services remain the leading reasons why consumers opt for PMI, as highlighted by one in four individuals (25.2%) according to GlobalData’s 2023 UK Insurance Consumer Survey. This has consistently been the main purchasing trigger over the years, and the proportion has remained stubbornly high since 2019, further compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic.

National Health Service Struggles Continue, Keeping PMI Demand High

“It is challenging to foresee the dramatic recovery that the political parties are hoping for shortly. Politicians have been cautious about raising general taxes, with both the Conservative Party and Labour ruling out increases to national insurance contributions. Meanwhile, the National Health Service is in a dire state, having suffered from years of austerity measures imposed by the ruling Conservatives, with economic injections being scarce and scattered. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated these issues, further stretching NHS resources and lengthening waiting lists.

“While concerns about accessing healthcare services will continue to drive demand for PMI, an overstretched healthcare system could negatively impact the quality of healthcare provision and the attitudes and behaviors of staff. This could eventually prompt other patients to consider purchasing PMI. Hence, investments in the National Health Service are likely to have little impact on demand for PMI in the foreseeable future.

National Health Service

Persistent National Health Service Issues Drive Continued Demand for Private Medical Insurance

“Furthermore, the structural issues within the NHS, such as underfunding and workforce shortages, are deep-rooted and not easily resolved by short-term political promises. The persistent challenges faced by the National Health Service, including long waiting times for treatments and limited availability of certain services, have made PMI an attractive option for those seeking timely and comprehensive healthcare.

“Moreover, the uncertainty surrounding the future state of the NHS post-election adds to the appeal of PMI. Consumers are looking for stability and reassurance that their healthcare needs will be met without long delays or compromised quality. PMI offers this assurance, which is why its demand remains resilient even amidst political changes and promises.

“In conclusion, while the upcoming election manifestos emphasize the NHS, the underlying issues within the public healthcare system and the continuous demand for reliable and timely healthcare services will sustain the demand for private medical insurance. Investments and reforms in the National Health Service, although necessary, are unlikely to significantly reduce the reliance on PMI in the short term. The public’s enduring concerns about the NHS will continue to drive the demand for private healthcare solutions, reinforcing the importance of PMI in the UK healthcare landscape.”


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Resource: GlobalData, June 20, 2024

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