UK data shows how Covid-19 has led to an estimated 84% drop in privately funded care
Following a slight rise in the estimated number of overall privately funded episodes of care of 3% in January 2020 and 4% in February 2020 respectively, March data shows an estimated drop of 30% compared with 2019, and an estimated 84% drop between April 2019 and April 2020, according to data from the Private Health Information Network (PHIN).
There has also been a change in the type of private treatments delivered during the pandemic, with medical oncology becoming the largest single specialty performed (an estimated 63% of all privately funded admissions in May).
PHIN said the findings are based on its national private healthcare dataset, and look at how the nature of privately funded care changed as the country went into lockdown and independent hospitals and NHS Private Patient Units diverted their resources to support the NHS.
Dr Jon Fistein, PHIN's chief medical officer, said: "While the impact on privately funded care is still emerging, with some the underlying data still incomplete, we can start to picture of the impact Covid-19 has had on the private healthcare market in the UK.
"As hospitals have diverted their resources to support the NHS effort, private care took a back seat. It is reassuring to see that urgent care - such as medical oncology - has continued to be provided during the difficult time. We will be keeping an eye on the situation and what happens over the coming weeks and months"