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Private Healthcare: Key facts (February 2012)

Private Healthcare UK

Author: Keith Pollard, Managing Director, Private Healthcare UK

Updated: 1 February 2012

Please include a reference to Private healthcare UK if you make use of any of this data in the media or on the web.


Private medical insurance: Market size

  • In January 2011, 11.1% of the UK population had private medical insurance. So, around 6.9 million people.
  • The number of insured has fallen after steady growth. In January 2009, 12.4% of the UK population had private medical insurance. This is due to redundancies caused by the recession and a reduction on corporate paid PMI, and the squeeze on domestic budgets.
  • The number of policies is around 3.96 million.
  • The number of employer funded policies has fallen by 8% to 2.95 million. The number of self-funded policies has fallen by 9.5% to 1.01 million.
  • Around £4,177 million is spent on PMI.


Private medical insurance: Cost

  • The cost of cover per subscriber has risen by 7.6% since 2008.
  • The average annual premium is £1,092.


Private acute healthcare market

  • Total market is £7,186 milllion (includes medical, surgical and mental health hospitals and clinics). Of this:

- £5,076 million is from independent surgical and mental health facilities

- £474 million is from NHS private patient facilities

- £1,676 million is fees for consultants and specialists

Private hospital sector:

  • Private hospitals generated revenues of around £3.8 billion in 2010. There was no growth in revenues compared to 2009.
  • 59% (£2.3 million) of private hospital revenue in 2010 was generated by private medical insurance or medical expenses schemes, compared to 65% in 2005.
  • 25% (£957 million) of private hospital revenue was generated from NHS funded patients, compared to 14% in 2005.
  • 14% (£534 million) of private hospital revenue is generated from self pay patients.
  • Around 2% (£90 million) of private hospital revenue was generated from overseas patients.
  • There were 515 independent medical hospitals at mid-2011, compared with 454 in mid-2010. This includes 211 private hospitals with inpatient beds and 304 day surgery units.
  • The  211 private hospitals provide offer 9,545 inpatient beds.


NHS private patient income

  • 73 private patient units (PPUs) within NHS hospitals compete for a slice of the private healthcare market.
  • NHS income from treating private patients in 2011 was £445million (around 8% of private and NHS private income combined), down from £474 million in 2010.


Useful areas of the Private Healthcare UK site


The Private Healthcare blog

Keith Pollard of Private Healthcare UK writes a blog on private healthcare:


Background to Treatment Abroad


Treatment Abroad is the UK’s busiest medical tourism site and is located at  www.treatmentabroad.com. It is owned by Intuition Communication Ltd.  


We receive over 1,500 enquiries each month from people seeking treatment abroad.


The site was set up around 6 years ago, in response to enquiries from people in the UK and from clinics/hospitals overseas wanting to promote themselves to UK patients. It is a sister site to our main site, Private Healthcare UK – www.privatehealthcare.co.uk  – which is the UK’s main portal for private treatment and has been around since 1997.


We also publish a business to business online journal in medical travel:


Intuition is not a medical tourism agency. Intuition is a specialist web publishing company in the health care sector. We also own the Harley Street Guide, Surgery Door, and other healthcare information sites such as Cancer Advice, and Self Help UK



Further information:


Keith Pollard, Managing Director
01442 817817
07710 229102


Intuition Communication Ltd
3 Churchgates
Herts HP4 2UB