It goes without saying that the NHS does an amazing job, thanks to its incredibly talented and dedicated professionals.
But it’s far from controversial to say that the health service is under massive strain – and has been for some time.
In fact, the NHS backlog recently hit a new record high, with the number of waits for non-emergency care in England increasing from 7.75 million in August to 7.77 million in September.
This includes around one million people who are on more than one waiting list for treatment.
These official figures are backed up by a recent poll from The Exeter, which revealed 74 per cent of people in work are struggling to access NHS treatments or secure GP appointments this year. That’s up from 61 per cent last year.
With that in mind, it’s perhaps no surprise that a growing number of people are turning to private healthcare.
The Exeter survey also revealed that in 2022, 53 per cent of workers used at least one form of private healthcare. But this year, the figure stands at 64 per cent, partly because of concerns over NHS waiting lists.
It’s very interesting to see more and more people opting for private healthcare, particularly when it’s happening against a backdrop of high inflation and rising interest rates.
On the one hand, it suggests that some people are going through their finances to make sure they can meet the cost of private treatment.
But on the other hand, the survey by The Exeter showed that the number of people worried about being able to afford private healthcare went up from 17 per cent in 2022 to 21 per cent in 2023.
As with any expense, it’s really important to make sure you’re living within your means.
So if accessing private healthcare is a priority for you, it’s vital that you don’t end up paying more than you can realistically afford, as poor financial management can impact on every aspect of your life.
Instead, you should make an effort to factor private healthcare into your wider financial strategy, so the cost of non-NHS treatment is accounted for, and your other financial commitments and goals aren’t put at risk.
A professional financial planner can work with you to make sure your financial plan reflects your priorities.
That way, you can be confident of living the lifestyle you want, getting healthcare when you need it, and remaining on course to achieve your future objectives.
If you have any questions on creating a financial strategy that aligns with your goals, please get in touch and we’ll be happy to speak with you.