When The Doctor Becomes The Patient
The Rising Trend of GP Health Insurance
According to a recent poll highlighted by the Shropshire Star, one in four General Practitioners (GPs) in the NHS system now have private medical insurance.
This is a significant uptick from previous years and a trend that’s predicted to grow in the foreseeable future. But why is this happening?
Several reasons contribute to this trend. The stress levels amongst doctors are on the rise due to increased workload and administrative burdens. These concerns, coupled with worries about the state of the NHS, have led many GPs to look for reliable backup options to ensure their health needs are met promptly and adequately.
Moreover, having private health insurance gives them access to quicker treatment times, wider choice of specialists, and better facilities. This in turn can help them return to work faster after an illness, which is not just beneficial for them but is critical to a healthcare system that relies on their skills and expertise.
It’s also crucial to mention another safety net that is highly beneficial for medical professionals: income protection insurance.
This is a type of insurance that pays out if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury, ensuring a steady flow of income during the recovery period.
In the context of the NHS, this becomes particularly relevant. The NHS offers a sickness absence scheme, which indeed provides some financial support if a doctor becomes ill. However, it’s important to note that this is a stepped contract, meaning the benefits reduce over time. Initially, full pay is provided, but this gradually decreases until it hits half pay, and eventually ceases entirely.
Income protection insurance can help bridge the gap during these stages of reduced pay. A bespoke policy can be tailored to kick in exactly when the NHS sick pay starts to decrease, ensuring that the GP’s income remains stable throughout their recovery period.
The increasing trend of GPs taking out private medical insurance is a reflection of broader concerns within the NHS and the pressures doctors face. As this trend continues to rise, Proactive Insurance will remain committed to providing top-quality health insurance services, comprehensive financial advice, and dedicated support to those who take care of our health every day.
By implementing the right private medical insurance and income protection plan, medical professionals can mitigate the risks associated with unexpected health issues, providing them with the reassurance that they are fully covered, regardless of the circumstances.
Reference: Shropshire Star, “One in four GPs has private medical insurance amid worries about the state of NHS – poll”, July 31, 2023.