“Once people have food in their belly and a roof over their head, the next thing they worry about is not dying. The population is increasing and getting older, and it’s getting richer. Although we want better healthcare and recognise the demographic changes nobody is prepared to put their hand in their pockets to pay more than they do.
“Either we fix the system or we spend more money on it. By the age of 65, the vast majority of us is living with a chronic medical problem.”
Many of these conditions can be managed, and a lot of time taken out of the NHS with missed doctors’ appointments by using an app, similar to the 111 service, that can direct people to the right place – for example, to specially trained nurses who can deal with more mundane tasks.
Mr Major says: “The NHS has committed to this in the report – all the services they’re conducting with third parties. If I had one fear about this it’s a Corbyn government: were it to happen, it seems more resistant to the idea of an NHS working with external providers.
“The staff issue is hard to fix. We’re all competing for doctors and nurses. We probably won’t have enough of them, so we need to have things that improve the productivity. But there’s an enormous opportunity for companies that enable a lot of this to happen.”
Greater technology in the US
About 90 per cent of the trust’s stocks invest in US companies. The reason for this is that there is much greater commercial development of healthcare technology in the US than in the UK.
“If I had a good idea, I’d get on a plane and go to America. The reality is that American companies do dominate innovation and will continue to do so,” Mr Major says.
The fund’s market cap is just over £500m, and the total return since launch is just under 50 per cent, according to FE.
It is at a small premium to net asset value, and he believes the prospects for radical transformation of the way we treat patients are huge for the healthcare investor.
Melanie Tringham is deputy features editor at Financial Adviser and FTAdviser