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New health subscription to help employers tackle huge number of UK workers on long-term sick leave  

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For the cost of a coffee subscription or access to your favourite streaming service, the UK’s biggest independent hospital group has launched the UK’s first national health subscription service, MyWay; a low-cost, monthly service that offers unlimited consultant and GP appointments, tests, checks and scans. In a move that will shake up the traditional private medical insurance model that has dominated private healthcare for the last 80 years, subscribers benefit from discounted hospital treatment. 

Developed in partnership with Circle’s 5000 strong hospital consultant body a MyWay offers a third way for patients to access private hospital services. Traditionally, patients either opt for private medical cover or to self-pay for their own treatment at market rates. Circle’s offering offers an affordable and accessible alternative. 

Subscriptions start from £19.99 a month, giving users a £10,000 per year cover with a 10% discount on surgery and specialist treatment at one of Circle’s 50 plus hospitals. A new international comparison study by the King’s Fund revealed the UK performs poorly on health outcomes and has some of the lowest clinical staffing levels in Europe, rapid access to hospital services that aid early diagnosis has never been more valuable to UK employers. 

Recent years have seen an explosion in the use of Private GP subscription services, virtual mental health and physiotherapy appointments. However, to date there has been no service to offering specialist consultations, tests and scans in one subscription.  

The MyWay product was developed in response to the growing demand for high-quality occupational health services that help get people back to work and prevent needless worry/time off work. Economic uncertainty means that businesses cannot afford to lose staff to illnesses that could easily be managed or treated using MyWay.   

The latest ONS stats show that economic inactivity due to long-term sickness has surged to a record-breaking 2.5 million people, up by half a million since the pandemic (2019). Coupled with 7.42 million people currently waiting for treatment across the UK. A perfect storm has broken with potentially disastrous consequences for workers eager to get back to work.  Like any subscription service, people can sign up in under 60 secs and avoid the complex form-filling associated with traditional insurance.   

Paul Manning, a consultant surgeon at Nottinghamshire University Hospital NHS Trust, one of the leading clinicians who designed the service, said: 

“The patients we’re seeing now are more acute and less able to return to work. Simple subscription products like this exist in other countries to prevent this problem, guaranteeing rapid access to specialists at affordable prices. We have a huge gap in provision for people who are worried about long waiting lists taking them out of the workforce but fund private medical insurance inaccessible – particularly sole traders, small business owners of people with any kind of pre-existing condition. This low-cost service has been designed by doctors to bridge the gap for their patients – too many of whom feel anxious about getting good healthcare with the double whammy of the backlog and cost-of-living crisis.” 

Mark O’Herlihy, Chief Commerical Officer of Circle Health Group, said: “Subscription services like Netflix and HelloFresh have revolutionised our lives. Why should healthcare be any different? For every 13 workers one person is long-term sick – the UK has a massive ‘sick-force’ problem, and we desperately need new healthcare solutions to tackle this productivity challenge and get the economy moving. MyWay offers employers a reliable, viable and effective solution to their workers’ health needs.” 

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