Hospital patients are feeling the pinch of the global economic crisis, with a survey from HSF health plan finding 43% of UK residents believe the costs of hospital stays, such as parking and food, should be covered by taxes rather than the individual.
Bills incurred during hospital stays - including travel, parking, food and private rooms - frequently run in to the hundreds of pounds, leaving NHS patients out of pocket.
The squeeze is especially felt by contract workers who, unlike salary earners, do not receive sick pay during hospital stays and frequently struggle to cover bills.
With 15 million people admitted to hospital each year in England, people are being encouraged to think ahead and invest in a health cash plan that will give cash back on hospital costs and even enable patients to afford the privacy of their own room.
Stephen Duff of HSF health plan says: “A private maternity room in an NHS hospital can cost £250 a night – more than a luxury hotel. Undergoing stressful experiences in private, like labour or recovering from surgery, is an expense many people simply cannot afford without a health cash plan.”
HSF health plan schemes start from as little as £6 per month. As well as covering extra hospital costs they also cover that of your partner and any children under 18, at no extra cost.