The National Health Service (NHS) is inefficient and cannot be saved by tax rises, according to Brett Cook Consulting principal director Dr Robert Hangartner.
Speaking at the 14th annual Health Insurance Conference in London, he said taxpayers would not see any real change and called for a public debate about the future of the NHS.
He said that there is “mounting evidence” that the NHS is inefficient. Management of its patients, staff shortages and lack of solutions are all factors affecting primary care.
He believed people will soon have global aspirations and expectations when comparing the current healthcare system with those in other parts of the world.
“There will be a move towards a globalisation in healthcare.
“The roles of general medical practitioners look set to change, leaving opportunities for health insurance providers and advisers in delivering primary care services,” he said.
Should such dramatic changes occur, Dr Hangartner suggested that consumer attitudes to private medical insurance would change.
“PMI members want hospitals to be free of government bureaucracy. People do not like to be told one thing by their doctor and another by the insurer,” he said.
“The healthcare system is publicly funded but it’s inefficient and doesn’t work because it’s poorly structured.”
He said that if the system was privately funded and open to competition there would probably need to be changes to the need for specialist treatment and how it is organised.
He said: “There has to be a dialogue between the government, the providers of healthcare and insurers as to what the world will look like.”