Why Public Healthcare Professionals Are Going Private

Why Public Healthcare Professionals Are Going Private


It’s estimated that more than 15,000 doctors left the NHS in England in the year leading up to September 2023. Many of these aren’t leaving for a career change, but are instead choosing to swap the public sector for the private sector. The big question is why? Here are 3 reasons why public healthcare professionals are going private in 2024.

1. More money

The majority of England’s public sector services have been involved in strike action at some point over the last few years. While most strikes divide opinion amongst UK taxpayers, few have received more support over the last couple of years than England’s striking junior doctors.

At the heart of the strikes is the issue of pay, or lack of it. The British Medical Association (BMA) has argued for a 35% pay increase, an increase which they believed was appropriate due to a result of years of declining pay once increasing living costs had been taken into account.

As England’s junior doctors gear up for another strike, it remains to be seen how many of them will turn to the private sector. With that said, it’s easy to see why measly, fixed salaries are being swapped for more lucrative, performance-based salaries on offer in the private sector.

2. Less stress

It’s critical to note that the previously mentioned strikes weren’t all about money. Arguably a bigger factor was the feeling of being overworked that was shared by the same NHS staff that bravely occupied the front line during COVID and its aftermath.

It’s believed that around 40% of NHS staff worked up to five hours of unpaid overtime each week in 2023. A statistic caused by enormous waiting lists and short-staffed facilities up and down the country. For example, breast reduction Manchester waiting times could be as little as a few weeks at a private facility compared to potentially year-long NHS waiting lists.

It should therefore come as no surprise that almost half of NHS staff reported they were struggling with some form of work-related stress during the pandemic years of 2021 and 2022. Private sector healthcare is a stark contrast. With no emergency services for life-threatening injuries, they can be a much calmer work environment and a much more manageable workload.

3. Better facilities

Not too long ago, the NHS was widely regarded as the world’s best healthcare system. Whether looking at access to care or the care itself, the NHS is in decline and is now considered only the fourth-best healthcare system when compared with other wealthy nations. Norway, The Netherlands and Australia are all considered to have better healthcare systems than the UK.

Nothing highlights the UK’s declining healthcare system as much as the alarming recent news that it would take more than £11 billion to restore the NHS’ buildings and equipment to an acceptable condition.

In comparison, patients paying to use private healthcare expect, and receive, a higher standard of facilities, which is also a bonus to the healthcare professionals staffing the facilities. A quick search of cosmetic surgery Manchester facilities will return an array of top-class facilities, far beyond what you’d receive when visiting an NHS facility.

Dunbar Larry

Dunbar Larry