Private medical insurance (PMI) providers need be more proactive in seeking out new markets, shadow health minister Dr Liam Fox has said.
Speaking at a lunch held by BCWA Healthcare, Dr Fox said there was “a strong suspicion in many quarters that PMI has long been too willing to live off the crumbs falling from the NHS table, rather than seek out new markets with more attractive, cheaper and flexible products”.
He said that a truly constructive partnership between the public and private sectors would have to be far more wide-ranging than the government’s recently announced concordat.
He added that individuals who provide for themselves reduced burdens on the NHS, helping to create capacity, and should not be penalised.
Dr Fox pledged that if they were elected and when it was affordable, the Conservatives would stop taxing company medical insurance schemes and introduce a single regulatory body which would be responsible for patient care standards across both the NHS and private sectors.
He said: “The UK has little of the state/private partnership from which other countries benefit and consequently has chronic under-capacity and unacceptably poor outcomes in many areas.”