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Health care

A look at the future of health care

The face of health care is changing: around 11% of us already have private medical insurance, and that figure is likely to grow over the next few years. While an American-style system is unlikely, it's possible that the future of health care is likely to be a mix of NHS and private treatment.

Health care is a big problem for politicians: the slightest suggestion of changes to the NHS and the newspapers are up in arms. However, in much the same way that individuals are being encouraged to take private pensions, it's likely that in the next few years we'll be encouraged to invest in private health care too.

The reason is simple: there's only so much money to go around. The government has already told us that for anyone currently under 40, the state pension won't be enough to live on; a similar problem faces the NHS as we live longer and have fewer children. If fewer taxpayers are supporting more and more elderly people, that means there will be less money to spend on the NHS at the very time it needs more, not less, cash.