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NHS cuts push GPs to consider private healthcare

By Amy Fallon

A third of GPs say they sweeping changes to the NHS mean they are more likely to use private healthcare themselves, the Pulse State of the Profession Survey shows.

Pulse asked 578 GPs if the NHS reforms had affected their attitude to private healthcare. 32% of GPs admitted it had increased the chances they would use it, while 7% said the reforms had decreased the likelihood that they would use private healthcare. But more than half – 61% – said the proposed changes would not affect how likely they were to use private healthcare.

Nearly a quarter – 23% – of GP said they are current user of private healthcare.

When asked if they currently had private healthcare, 76% of GPs said that they did not, compared to the 23% who did and one per cent who did not know.

Dr Paul Silverston, a GP in Newmarket, Suffolk, said commented: 'It is clear that we are seeing waiting times for surgery and services starting to increase and the recent changes in the NHS can only accelerate this trend.'

A previous survey on waiting times, conducted by Pulse and commissioned by Spire Healthcare, found 39% of GPs said rationing of treatments and rising waiting times had meant they had seen an increase in patients asking about private treatment.

Click here for more results from our survey of the profession.

NHS reforms push GPs to consider private healthcare