Bupa urges sector to take immediate action

23 September 2015

Bupa addresses LaingBuisson Private Healthcare Conference on the future of private healthcare and its role in supporting the UK healthcare system as a whole

Speaking today at the LaingBuission Private Healthcare Conference, Bupa UK’s Alex Perry highlighted that despite the warning signs, the sector has collectively failed to fix its systemic problems and continues to stagnate. Talking about how the sector is slowly building to a crisis, he made clear that sustainable growth is still possible but only if the whole sector works together to drive better value and experience for customers. 

Alex Perry, General Manager, Bupa UK Customer said*:

“We need to find a way forward where we can support the NHS more in meeting the UK’s healthcare needs and challenges. We can only really do this by working together: insurers and hospital providers, and consultants and therapists - to deliver better value, a better experience and a better deal for the sector overall.

“Without doubt the number one thing we need to tackle is affordability. Year after year healthcare inflation has gone up faster than general inflation and disposable income. This is not the route to long-term sustainability. We speak to many people every day who call us and would dearly love to buy health insurance but then don’t because it is too expensive. 

“As funders in this system, we recognise we have a specific role to play to contain costs. 78% say that they expect us to manage the costs of their care on their behalf and to negotiate the best prices with hospitals and consultants. 

“We are listening to customer feedback and launching a number of innovative healthcare products and services – for example Bupa Fundamental which offers individual customers a more affordable option. Equally, we know that we need to engage constructively in partnership with others across the sector to meet this cost challenge. As a result, we have been clear that we’re looking to work with our hospital providers to deliver better value for our customers. 

Alex Perry also added:

“But lower costs on their own are not enough; we also need to clearly demonstrate better quality and service or we risk becoming an irrelevance - A Yellow Pages in the age of Google.  Working together to drive better value and a better experience for customers and a better deal for the industry must be our blueprint for growth.

For a full copy of the speech please go to: /Newsroom/OurViews/Growing-the-market-lowering-prices 

*check against delivery

Notes to editor

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact the Bupa Press Office:

T: +44 (0)20 7656 2454

E: bupapressoffice@bupa.com

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

With no shareholders, our customers are our focus. We reinvest profits into providing more and better healthcare for the benefit of current and future customers.

We have 15.5 million health insurance customers, provide healthcare to around 14.5 million people in our clinics and hospitals, and look after over 23,300 aged care residents.

We employ over 78,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, Chile, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the USA, Brazil, the Middle East and Ireland, and many more through our associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

Health insurance is around 70% of our business. In a number of countries, we also run clinics, dental centres, hospitals and care homes and villages.

For more information, visit www.bupa.com

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