Many private hospitals will be opening their doors to more patients but does that mean you’ll be stuck at the back of the queue?
The United Kingdom’s universal healthcare system, known as the National Health Service (NHS), had a problem: By the early 2000s, a growing number of elderly patients were waiting up to three years for sight-saving cataract services in the early 2000s.
But the government-funded healthcare scheme didn’t have enough beds. It did, however, have plenty of parking.
“All we needed was a parking lot and a connection to three-phase electricity,” remembers South Africa’s Netcare CEO Richard Friedland.
Netcare entered the UK market fifteen years ago. It operates more than 50 private hospitals in the country, but 43% of its patients come from the NHS through the service’s electronic “choose and book” appointment system: Patients elect where to go for care, and the NHS pays private providers like Netcare a nationally-set rate