July 6, 2012 : ?Never been a better time? to be in private health insurance

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On Tuesday, a day before the Institute of Fiscal Studies released its report predicting a “decade of austerity” for the NHS, the chairman of a leading private healthcare insurance association told its annual conference that, with NHS waiting times increasing and trusts going into administration, there had "never been a better time" to be in private healthcare insurance.

According to the Health Insurance website, Wayne Pontin went on to advise fellow delegates at the Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries “summit” to prepare for the end of free NHS primary care. The idea that people could be charged to see their GP was also “floated”.

The event was hosted by BBC health correspondent Fergus Walsh and was attended by, among others, Ali Parsa, boss of Circle Health, and Stephen Dorrell MP, who also gave a presentation entitled “Can the private sector rescue the NHS?” according to the association’s website.

Given paying for primary care was exactly what his party leader had said would not happen as a result of the Health and Social Care Bill, presumably the Conservative Dorrell, who is also chairman of the Health Select Committee, was at pains to contradict Pontin’s claims?

Alas, Corporate Watch wasn’t invited, so we may never know.