The vast majority of people would be prepared to pay for private healthcare rather than wait for treatment.
In a survey of 2,000 adults by Standard Life Healthcare, 85 per cent say they would consider paying up to £1,000 for private treatment while 62 per cent would consider paying up to £5,000.
But Standard says most people are unaware of the real cost of treatment, with 60 per cent underestimating the cost of heart bypass surgery – around £14,500 – while 80 per cent underestimated the cost of a knee replacement.
Fifty-eight per cent believe that their employer should be responsible for employee healthcare, saying this would reduce the number of sick days, boost productivity and reduce stress.
Chief executive Mike Hall says: “The message is clear. People want to wait less time for treatment, they will pay out large sums to avoid a wait but do not know the actual cost of healthcare so need insurance.”