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Brits delaying healthcare treatment due to cost

8th October 2010 Print

Almost 80 per cent of Britons are worried about the cost of healthcare and many are postponing or cancelling treatment as a result, research revealed today.

Two thirds of the UK population confessed to cancelling or postponing treatment because of the cost, with nearly one in three of all Britons delaying healthcare for at least six months because they could not afford it.

The research, which was undertaken by online health insurance provider, revealed the true depth of concern many now have because of the costs associated with accessing healthcare treatment, coupled with widespread confusion as to what they will need to pay.

The survey of 1,000 UK adults revealed ignorance as to which procedures and treatments were charged under the NHS; a third of Britons did not know they had to pay for a dental check-up and almost a half (43 per cent) incorrectly thought eye tests were free.

Women were far more likely to be aware of the charges associated with certain treatments, but they were also more prone to worrying about the cost of healthcare and cancelling treatments as a result. 81 per cent admitting to worrying, while nearly half (47 per cent) of all women who cancelled or postponed treatment did so for a minimum of six months, as opposed to just 38 per cent of men.

The research also revealed that worry about healthcare costs is most widespread among the under 45s, with 83 per cent of 25-45s confessing to concern, compared to just over half of the over 65s.

Those of pensionable age were also less likely to cancel treatments. Only 30 per cent of the over 65s had cancelled or postponed treatment due to the cost, as opposed to more than three quarters of 25 to 34-year-olds.

Paul Shires, Sales and Marketing Director of, said: “Our research provides startling evidence that worry about the financial implications of accessing healthcare is widespread and endemic among the British population.

“What’s more, many are delaying and even cancelling treatment because they are concerned about the cost. This is not only worrying from a financial perspective, but could arguably have a detrimental effect on the health of the nation.

“In launching, we are seeking to provide simple and affordable health cover to help people avoid the financial pressures of accessing healthcare treatment. 

“From just £15 per month, people can enjoy peace of mind knowing that they have cover in place to help them pay for healthcare such as dental and optical treatment and physiotherapy.”

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