The NHS Co-operation & Competition Panel has raised concerns over the tactics employed by some NHS Primary Care Trusts in delaying operations to save money. The result of the delay meaning patients come off the list to either go private - or die.

Andrew Tripp of the Association of Medical insurance Intermediaries says: "The medical and insurance communities need and do work together but the suggestion that such a cynical approach – eg imposing 15 week minimum waiting times - is being employed by cash strapped trusts to save money will not help relations. It may help medical insurance sales as private medical insurance is a great way to avoid long waiting times - but the driver in this case is a regrettable one."

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