Why is health insurance so difficult to understand?
London Consultants’ Association (LCA)
The London Consultants’ Association (LCA) represents the interests of medical consultants in the capital. Its main objective is to maintain the independence of private medical practice and to defend the freedom of choice for patients and doctors.
The London Consultants’ Association was formed in 1998 as a response to changes within private medical practice towards a trend for managed care. Concerned about the increasing role that insurance companies were playing in the referral pathways and management of the patient, they felt the need to form a well organised and cohesive organisation that would counter changes that were not in the interests of the patient, GP or consultant and maintain the Consultant-Patient contract.
The LCA continues to work towards it original objective today, as well as providing a strong voice on behalf of its members and their patients as a new set of changes and proposals brings fresh pressures and turmoil to the system.
In addition to maintaining the independence of private medical practice and the freedom of choice for patients and doctors, the LCA supports the need for professional integrity and maintenance of standards. Its view, as proposed by the Royal Colleges and government registered organisations, is that the profession should be self-regulated, rather than regulated by insurance companies. They are committed to maintaining the principles of clinical freedom, whilst working to the highest standards of practice with accepted professional guidelines.
The LCA currently has over 350 members and membership is open to all recognised consultants working in London (loosely defined as within the M25). Associate membership is available to general practitioners and consultants outside of London. Benefits of membership include free admission to all LCA meetings, access to members’ resources, an appraisal system, an advisory service and meetings and social evenings for LCA members and their secretaries.