Advertisement
Canada markets closed
  • S&P/TSX

    22,465.37
    +165.57 (+0.74%)
     
  • S&P 500

    5,303.27
    +6.17 (+0.12%)
     
  • DOW

    40,003.59
    +134.19 (+0.34%)
     
  • CAD/USD

    0.7349
    +0.0001 (+0.02%)
     
  • CRUDE OIL

    79.95
    -0.11 (-0.14%)
     
  • Bitcoin CAD

    90,424.95
    -618.45 (-0.68%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    1,355.79
    -18.05 (-1.31%)
     
  • GOLD FUTURES

    2,429.80
    +12.40 (+0.51%)
     
  • RUSSELL 2000

    2,095.72
    -0.53 (-0.03%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    4.4200
    +0.0430 (+0.98%)
     
  • NASDAQ futures

    18,668.75
    +33.50 (+0.18%)
     
  • VOLATILITY

    11.99
    -0.43 (-3.46%)
     
  • FTSE

    8,420.26
    -18.39 (-0.22%)
     
  • NIKKEI 225

    39,140.56
    +353.18 (+0.91%)
     
  • CAD/EUR

    0.6755
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     

NHS backlog drives 25pc jump in Aviva health insurance sales

Aviva Group CEO, Amanda Blanc
Aviva Group CEO, Amanda Blanc

Record NHS waiting times has driven a surge in patients taking out private health insurance, Aviva has said.

The FTSE 100 insurer said its private healthcare sales soared by a quarter to £33m between January and March as the NHS struggles to cope with surging demand.

Amanda Blanc, chief executive of Aviva, said: “Whilst the NHS does a great job for millions of people, there are people who would like to accelerate their treatment, or give themselves that confidence that should something happen to them, they want to have that accelerated treatment.”

She told the FT: “The volumes are very robust and to be honest we don’t see that changing any time soon.” The company has taken on more than 120,000 new private medical customers in the past year.

ADVERTISEMENT

It comes as NHS waiting times have soared since the pandemic began as the health service struggles with staffing issues, backlogs for treatments, and strikes.

More than 7m people were on the waiting list at the start of the year, compared to 4.5m prior to the pandemic.

A fifth of adults have been waiting for treatment for more than a year, according to recent data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), while a further 20pc said they had had an appointment cancelled or delayed in the past month.

Ms Blanc added: “I think private healthcare needs to be seen as a positive complement to the NHS in, clearly, what are difficult times.”

Figures published on Wednesday by the Private Healthcare Information Network showed that there were a record 820,000 private inpatient and day-case admissions in the UK last year, a jump of 8pc on 2021.

However, some private healthcare companies are struggling to cope with demand amid record NHS waiting lists.

The Telegraph previously disclosed that Bupa customers have complained of “outrageous” waits for their calls to be answered as growing numbers turn to insurance schemes in the wake of the pandemic.

The company said it had taken action to improve call waiting times, recruiting hundreds more call-handlers after customers complained of delays of three hours in April and 90 minutes this month.

Separately, activist investor Cevian has sold its entire stake in Aviva in a boost for the insurer’s management team.