Back in April 2012, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) announced its decision to refer the market for privately funded healthcare services in the UK to the Competition Commission for further investigation.
This week the Competition Commission outlined its proposed measures to increase competition in the private healthcare market.
Keith Pollard, Managing Director of Intuition Communuication, publishers of www.PrivateHealthcare.co.uk and www.GoPrivate.com, says the Commission’s suggestions can only benefit patients:
“Anything that encourages greater transparency in terms of costs, surgeon reputation and quality of care can only be good for the patient. If these measures have the desired effect and increase the numbers of players in the market then that greater choice can only be good for the patient.
“We have been lobbying for the collection and publication of performance data for some years and have been disappointed by the reluctance of private hospitals to share information on how well they’re performing and, perhaps more importantly, how much they’re charging.
“There can be very few industries that won’t give potential customers a clear and unambiguous price for what is a major financial decision – or give them easy to understand data on how they perform when the patient is making a decision about purchasing a medical procedure that could make a massive difference to their health or body.
“One of the reasons we launched www.GoPrivate.com was to make price comparison as easy as possible for patients – but it is only since the Competition Commission launched their enquiry, that we have been able to access the data we need on procedure and consultation fees that private patients want to see.”
Author profile: Keith Pollard
Keith Pollard spent ten years in marketing and operational roles in the private healthcare sector before setting up Acumen Solutions, an internet development company in the mid-1990s, specialising in the healthcare market.
Private Healthcare UK was one of several internet ventures which were created at that time.
In 2003, Keith formed Intuition Communication as a web publishing company and embarked on a major investment in the redevelopment and expansion of Private Healthcare UK.
The Intuition portfolio has grown impressively since then, and Intuition has become a leader in medical tourism with the development of Treatment Abroad. Keith writes a health and medical tourism blog.