GHP September 2015

70 | ghp September 2015 Public Inaccuracy and Habitual Self-Interest Represents a Substantial Cost for the NHS The UK public routinely underestimates the costs of many common NHS procedures and habitually prioritises its own needs when it comes to treatment, the National Health Report 2015 reveals. The report, compiled by mutual health and wellbe- ing provider Benenden, questioned 4,000 people across the UK asking them to put a cost to some common procedures and treatments – ranging from natural child birth to liver transplants, while at the same time enquiring if they believe some of those treatments should be funded, at least in part, by the individuals on the receiving end. It also explored attitudes surrounding the public’s prerogative to those same NHS treatments, revealing dispropor- tionality between what people believe others are entitled to and their own entitlement When it came to judging the cost of procedures and treatments, liver transplants were estimated to cost £12,279 per operation, when in fact the true cost is £70,000; abdominal hernia surgery, of which 7,489 low risk ones were carried out last year, were thought to cost £1,609 rather than the £2,281 in reality; almost half (48%) of respondents thought less than 2,500 gastric bands, gastric by-passes and gastric balloons procedures were carried out by the NHS each year, far shy of the real figure, which is double that at 5,443, costing the NHS in excess of £25m in 2014. IVF comes low on the list of NHS priorities as far as the public is concerned, with more than three-quar- ters of those questioned stating that people should either contribute towards the cost of IVF or foot the bill entirely, with only 22% of recipients believing it is a treatment that the NHS should offer. One round of IVF treatment on the NHS costs between £1,287 and £6,000, with women under 30 years of age being offered up to three rounds, and women over 40 given just one round on the NHS. The younger the recipient, the more likely they are to believe that IVF should be Benenden National Health Report 2015 reveals public percep- tions about the cost of NHS care.