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Restriction on NHS diagnostic tests may increase demand for health insurance

Published on 08/09/2011

More people will be purchasing health insurance policies to guarantee prompt diagnosis, after an investigation has revealed that Primary Care Trusts are looking for ways to reduce direct referrals to specialist test centres.

GP magazine has revealed that a quarter of PCTs are looking to lower the numbers of patients individual GP practises send for examinations to save money.

A small number of PCTs are identifying ‘excessive’ use of tests or setting upper targets on diagnostic scans such as MRI, CT and ultrasound. Five PCTs have scrapped access altogether to at least one type of test.

Experts say the tactics will lead to late diagnosis of life threatening diseases. Dr Clare Gerada, head of the Royal College of GPs, said:

“This is about money and finances driving behaviour by the PCT – not about putting patients first.”

Cancer Research UK’s director of policy, Sarah Woolnough, said: “It is very worrying to hear of PCTs setting referral targets and decommissioning direct access to tests that could speed up a cancer diagnosis.”

This is the latest example of managers rationing patient care in order to save £20billion across the NHS in the next four years. Other recent reports have revealed that some PCTs are artificially increasing waiting times in order to save money.

If prompt diagnosis is important to you, look for a health insurance policy that covers all diagnostic tests and scans.

Aviva offers Speedy Diagnosis, a significantly cheaper policy than full private health insurance, covering only specialist consultations for medical diagnosis and not treatment. Compare health insurance policies online with ActiveQuote now to make sure you don’t get caught out by the NHS cuts.

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2011

Categories:  NHS and Hospitals
Restriction on NHS diagnostic tests may increase demand for health insuranceMore people will be purchasing health insurance policies to guarantee prompt diagnosis, after an investigation has revealed that Primary C    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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