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National campaign promotes private healthcare

Published on 01/11/05 at 09:31am

Six of the UK's biggest private hospital and health insurance companies have joined forces to promote the benefits of private healthcare to the nation's health.

AXA PPP healthcare, BMI Healthcare, BUPA Hospitals, BUPA Health Insurance, Norwich Union Healthcare and Standard Life Healthcare have launched a 1 million national press campaign promoting the work of the industry and its contribution to the health of the nation.

"We've got a great story to tell," said Ian Smith, chief executive of General Healthcare Group, of which BMI Healthcare (Britain's largest private hospital group) is a part.

"Together, we're helping people from all walks of life and employers of all shapes and sizes to meet their healthcare needs and, in the process, relieve some of the pressure on the NHS."

The companies say 7.6 million people were covered by private medical schemes in 2004, with a total of 2.64 billion paid out in benefits.

A further 350 million was spent by individuals paying for private hospital services out of their own pockets  something which the companies want to promote as helping, rather than undermining the NHS.

But a report this summer from independent healthcare analysts Laing and Buisson found that despite slight growth in the private insurance market, the sector was likely to face pressure from shortening NHS waiting times.

Many of the companies also hold NHS contracts to provide surgery in the new breed of Treatment Centres, but the increasing involvement of the private sector has come under sustained attack from unions and others who fear a creeping privatisation of the health service.

The advertising campaign argues that the UK's private healthcare companies support rather than undermine the NHS, and features a series of adverts explaining their contribution.

The campaign was launched in mid-October and will run for one month with full page advertisements in the national press.   

External links:

For more information visit: www.makingbritainhealthier.com

 

 

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