The news that the NHS will cancel around 50,000 non-urgent elective operations in January has once again highlighted the appeal of private medical insurance, says National Friendly. It says that this can offer a way to ease the strain on an already stretched NHS.

The new raft of 50,000 plus cancellations in one month significantly adds to the 6000 non-urgent operations which the NHS routinely cancels each month, according to its own published data.

Although these recent cancellations are deemed ‘non-urgent,’ those having to wait for an operation may have a very different view. Recent cancelled operations include hip operations and cataract surgery, which could mean an uncomfortable wait for many.

In response to this news, National Friendly’s head of sales and marketing, Wayne Carter comments, “It is a well-known fact that the NHS is becoming increasingly overstretched, particularly during the winter months, when we often see a seasonal increase in demand. Whilst the NHS is integral to our society, as waiting times become longer, we believe that private medical insurance plays an important role in supporting consumers with an alternative healthcare solution.”

For those now actively considering private health insurance, cover arranged via a mutual society might provide a useful third option between the NHS and traditional commercial private healthcare.

Wayne adds, “National Friendly’s cause was a socially advanced concept 150 years ago and today it still follows the same principle of helping people to make contingencies for difficult times.”