Access to clean hospitals is the most important reason for taking out private medical insurance for 62 per cent of Britons, according to health insurer Bupa's annual Health of the Nation survey.
MRSA and general hospital hygiene continue to remain hot topics. Less than a third of people (30 per cent) thought that having their own room was the most pressing incentive for taking out PMI.
Almost 8 in 10 (77 per cent) of those who already have PMI believe that faster access to specialists was key to enjoying the benefits of health insurance.73 per cent felt that the main advantage lay in being able to see the same consultant.
While over one in ten (13 per cent) people have PMI, more than two-thirds of those questioned felt that there were good reasons to take it out.
Affordability and being happy to rely on the NHS are the top reasons for not taking out medical insurance.
Cancer remains the top health concern for both men and women, while both also worry about heart disease and blood pressure. 17 per cent of women are worried about Bird Flu, while about one in ten men are also concerned by the virus.
The survey reveals that over half of people feel healthy and fit for their age - a third of people take health and food supplements, and just over half are happy with their weight.
Dr Natalie-Jane Macdonald, medical director of Bupa Health Insurance, said, "It's interesting that MRSA and cleanliness are still top of people's worries when it comes to taking out PMI. It's also encouraging to see that the things that matter to us, like faster access to specialists, good quality of services and effective medical treatments, are echoed by those people questioned. We believe that people should always get the best treatment, at the best place, at a time to suit them and I'm pleased that those questioned felt the same."
Private medical insurance : News update: September 2006