‘Going private: Increasing numbers of Britons are abandoning the NHS and paying for medical treatment’ [c]:

As more people opt to fund their healthcare themselves, or take out private health insurance, there is a danger of creating a “two tier” system, with wealthier people paying for speedy tests and treatments and the less well-off being forced to wait.

My initial response to that paragraph was: that’s fine. Rich people still pay their National Insurance. So if they’re willing to go private it means the NHS has less of a workload and will work better for those who can’t afford to go private. However, apparently not so:

“By and large, private hospitals in the UK don’t have a fully separate workforce from the NHS,… [they] don’t tend to directly employ a separate set of doctors. They are [mostly] NHS doctors spending part of their time in private practice to supplement their income.

“Staff [numbers] are going to be a critical constraint on the NHS being able to treat more patients and get rid of this backlog. If they are spending more time practising in the private sector that might be taking away time from the NHS, which may have an impact on people who can’t afford to go private,” Mr Gardner added.