More patients asking GPs for private care, survey suggests

Over a third of GPs report an increase in the numbers of patients asking for private care, according to a survey.

GPs are seeing more patients asking for private care
GPs are seeing more patients asking for private care

The poll by private provider Spire Healthcare found that 41% of 1,009 GPs across the UK said more patients are now asking about whether they can pay for speedier treatment compared with the previous year.

Almost half (48%) of GPs said waiting times for local NHS hospital referrals had risen.

It comes as an NHS Confederation report has suggested that the government could seek to increase patient charges, such as 'access to food or television' in hospitals, to help boost health budgets.

However, it accepts that the amount raised would be small and would be 'difficult, given the commitments from political parties of all colours to maintain the NHS as free at the point of need'.

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