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If you're being treated in the NHS, there are many places where you can seek advice on treatment and the services provided in the NHS. The Patients' Association is a good example of  an organisation that can assist you and that represents the views of NHS patients.

But when you're "going private", using your private medical insurance or paying for treatment in a private hospital, it's a little more difficult. The Private Patients' Forum (PPF) is a relatively new organisation that aims to represents the interests of the private patient. The PPF Council includes people with a special interest in private healthcare who are prepared to give their time on behalf of private patients. (PPF welcomes applications from individuals with direct experience as patients in the private healthcare sector to join the Council.)

The  PPF can point you in the right direction for help in negotiating with any individual or organisation in private healthcare with whom you may have a dispute. The Private Patients’ Forum, itself,  cannot negotiate on behalf of a patient in a dispute with a medical insurer, a medical practitioner or a healthcare provider such as a hospital or clinic

Ask a question in the Private Patients' Forum

A new discussion forum  provides the opportunity for patients and consumers to discuss issues relating to private health insurance, private hospitals and private consultants and specialists. The discussion forum is run and managed by the Private Patients' Forum and is hosted within Private Healthcare UK. (Visit the private healthcare discussion forum).

Here are some examples of the kind of topics that have been raised:

  • Is there a private healthcare ombudsman I can go to if my op goes badly?

          View response

  • How do I choose a ENT Dr for my snoring?

          View response

  • Where can I find the ACTUAL costs of private healthcare?

          View response

  • Why won't my insurers cover Diabetes?

          View response

  • What is ‘pre-existing condition’?

          View response

So if you're looking to raise an issue about your private health insurance, or want some pointers on how to access private healthcare, the Private Patients' Forum is the place to ask.
 

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About the author

Keith Pollard is CEO of Intuition Communication, an online publisher in the healthcare sector that operates market-leading web portals such as Private Healthcare UK, the Harley Street Guide, HarleyStreet.com and Surgery Door. Intuition is also active in the online medical travel sector through Treatment Abroad, International Medical Travel Journal and DoctorInternet, the Arabic medical tourism portal. View www.keithpollard.com for my full profile.


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