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NHS is restricting treatments for patients without health insurance

Published on 15/09/2011

A survey of GPs by Pulse magazine has found that restrictions are being placed on essential treatments for patients without private health insurance, such as knee and hip replacements and cataract operations.

NHS managers are rationing treatments to cut costs, but the postcode lottery means that some Primary Care Trusts (PCTs) are being hit harder than others.

Dr Chaand Nagpaul, a prominent London GP, said: “We are seeing significant postcode variation, which is not compatible with the Government's commitment to provide equitable access to healthcare.”

Out of the 300 doctors polled, 22% were facing restrictions on access to hernia operations from managers at PCTs. 17% said hip and knee operations were being rationed.

In addition, 29% of GPs said that there was a restriction in access to IVF treatment for couples without children, and 11% said vasectomies were limited.

Failing to treat patients early can save money in the short-term but can lead to costs in the future when their health deteriorates.

Dr Philip Fielding, a GP in Cheltenham, added: “Short-sighted restrictions on care can save for a year or two by delaying treatments but you are building up a potential clinical time bomb.”

This comes after reports that the NHS is restricting access to essential diagnostic tests and scans.

Patients with private health insurance will bypass these potentially long NHS queues and receive prompt treatment at a time convenient for them. Compare health insurance quotes now to get instant cover.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
NHS is restricting treatments for patients without health insuranceA survey of GPs by Pulse magazine has found that restrictions are being placed on essential treatments for patients without private health     tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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