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Fears of ‘two-tier’ system as NHS waiting lists prompt more people to go private

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Covid crisis leads to more people self-funding treatment or investing in private health insurance

Concerns are growing that long NHS waiting times caused by the coronavirus crisis are exacerbating pre-existing health inequalities and creating a “two-tier” system, as more people turn to the private sector for quicker treatment.

As leading doctors warn mass cancellations of NHS operations in England are inevitable this winter after waiting times reached the highest levels on record this summer, data shows a rise in the number of people self-funding treatment or investing in private health insurance.

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