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UK private hospital admissions hit record levels in 2023

This infographic looks at the private hospital admissions in the United Kingdom, drawing on data from a Private Healthcare Information Network (PHIN) report.

In 2023, UK private hospital admissions hit a record 898,000, the highest since record-keeping began in 2016. This surge is largely due to the NHS’s long-wait list, driving many to private healthcare.

Compared to pre-pandemic 2019, private admissions rose by 15%, self-pay by 39%, and insured admissions by 7%. 

Ian Gargan, PHIN’s chief executive, commented: “With NHS waiting lists at record levels, a growing number of people are looking for alternatives and choosing the private sector rather than risk prolonged waits and potentially seeing their health deteriorate.”

In 2023, private medical insurance admissions increased by 11% in England, 13% in Scotland, 1% in Wales, and 17% in Northern Ireland. The East Midlands and London in England saw the highest rises at 14% and 12%, respectively.

Self-pay admissions in England fell across all regions except the East of England and the North East. The East Midlands and the North West recorded the largest declines at -7%, with London and the North West experiencing the biggest drops in volume.

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