Freedom to Choose

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Better (more effective)
treatment (2%)
The same level
of treatment (4%)
Worse (less effective)
treat (87%)
Consultants´ attitude to ´open referral´
Medical Profession highly critical of restricted referral and its negative impact on patient care. We agree.

We believe that open referral (restricted referral - where some insurers direct patients to particular consultants) - is a contradiction in terms: private medical insurance is an elective purchase, giving policyholders the freedom to choose.

We believe that you, advised by your doctor, should have the freedom to choose your specialist based on your needs and circumstances.

We believe that this should be a clinical not a commercial decision.

A patient´s choice is normally based on their GP´s recommendation or it may be based on their own research; in many cases it is because the consultant is someone whom they have seen previously.

With open referral patients may therefore lose their primary choice of consultant and possibly of hospital. They may still receive appropriate treatment for their condition but not all consultants have the same specialist interests.

For further information:

Consultant research commissioned by WPA and conducted by independent market research specialists - GfKNOP. 1086 UK Consultants, Surgeons & GPs engaged in private practice were surveyed in December 2012. 591 responses (54%).