The upcoming self-pay boom
Written by Tom Garfield

2020 is done with, vaccines are finally being popped into people and the days are getting lighter little by little. Spring can’t come soon enough.

Until then, unfortunately even fewer patients are getting the care they need.

After the first lockdown, when hospitals and clinics reopened for private treatment, there was a phenomenal wave of enquiries and appointment bookings. Everyone that had been unable to get care was eager to get it after waiting for so long.

It’s obvious, but it’s worth acknowledging properly – people that need healthcare will carry on needing it, even it if it’s unavailable for a period of time.

Restaurants can be replaced with takeaways or eating at home, haircuts can be replaced by long hair and dodgy home cuts.

But you can’t replace your own knee or get a home MRI scanner. (Not yet anyway)

Spring 2021 – another self-pay boom

So my prediction is that we are going to see an even bigger demand for healthcare services after this next lockdown. And in particular, a big increase in the number of self-pay patients looking for treatment.

Many might be first-time users of private care as they decide enough is enough and they are going to pay for their own treatment after waiting so long.

Patients will be turning to the internet to find the care they need and they will be choosing the most accessible providers.

Self-pay patients will book with the most accessible providers

The providers that get the bookings will be those that have easy to find profiles and information, clear booking processes, and an online presence that gives the patient a reassuring sense of expertise, authority and trust.

How easy is it to find you online?

Not just for your name – the patient would have to know you exist first. But how easy are you to find if someone’s looking for what you do, without a particular provider in mind?

And once found, how confident would you be that the patient will decide on you?

If it’s not easy to find, consider and choose you, you won’t get chosen.