Mental health, cancer and artificial intelligence (AI) were among the key topics discussed at the annual Health and Wellbeing Summit held by the Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries (AMII).
Prof Willie Hamilton, professor of primary care diagnostics at the University of Exeter, said the UK has made huge strides in cancer awareness, diagnosis and treatment, but still has a long way to go.
“We’re not as good as our sister countries in terms of survival rates, and the gatekeeper system we have in the UK, though it has its positives, can in some respects lower the survival rate,” he argued. “We need to help our healthcare professionals diagnose cancer earlier and easier.”
Willie alluded to the increased importance of private medical insurance (PMI) being made easily accessible to those aged 70 or above.
“PMI among the older generation is becoming more of a topic for discussion due to the fact that we are living longer and the demographics in which cancer is most prevalent,” he said.
Helen Undy, chief executive of the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, said the charity would like to see a review of underwriting and pricing for mental health, ensuring compliance with the Equalities Act (2010), plus shared best practice to improve understanding of exclusions.
“In addition, we want to see an accessible and supportive disclosure environment, as well as product innovation to improve inclusion for people with pre-existing conditions,” she added.
Closing the Summit, AMII executive chairman Stuart Scullion said: “It was great to see so many of the industry’s thought leaders debating and discussing the key issues for health and wellbeing as we enter the new decade and the business impact for the UK as we prepare for a General Election and a possible exit from the EU.”