Britain's ageing population is behind sustained demand for the services offered by the Allied Health-Care Services industry because natural bodily decline accompanies old age. Rising health consciousness and population growth have also expanded the market that the industry caters to. Keen to identify and reverse health problems before they take hold, people of all ages are now more proactive about seeking health care early. The Allied Health-Care Services industry is well placed to take advantage of this.
In spite of this high demand, revenue is only expected to inch up at a compound annual rate of 1.3% over the five years. During the current year, revenue is projected to grow by 1% to £3.8 billion. In the face of economic hardship, the government curtailed the National Health Service (NHS) budget. Since most of the industry operates with assistance from public funding, these budgetary constraints significantly influence the industry. As a result, the public sector will continue to struggle to meet rising demand with limited funds. The government is keen for the private sector to make up the shortfall and has embarked on wide-ranging reforms in the hope of introducing greater competition, thus boosting industry efficiency and minimising costs. However, it will be some years yet before the impact of these reforms can be properly measured.
In the immediate future, rising frustration with NHS backlogs is likely to encourage greater use of private sector services. Private medical insurance has been becoming more popular for most of the past two decades, although take-up fell between 2008 and 2012. Steady economic growth is set to encourage the purchase of health insurance because individuals are likely to feel more confident about committing to policies as real incomes rise. Companies with existing insurance schemes are anticipated to expand their workforces. However, intense competition will keep private sector prices and margins down. This, alongside government budgetary pressure, is expected to limit compound annual revenue growth to 0.9% over the five years through 2019-20, with industry revenue projected to reach £4 billion.