“Just how remote can insurers be?”
The LCA latest in the Independent Practitioner Today (IPT)
Following our previous feature in the IPT urging doctors to think twice before accepting 50% fee cuts from insurers for virtual consultations, the Federation of Independent Practitioner Organisations (FIPO) Vice Chair and surgeon, Mr Ian McDermott, spells out why this work is worth every penny.
It is a format that four months ago most of us could probably count on one hand how many times they had used it, but video conferencing, whether it be Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Houseparty, has become the mode of conversation, business and patient consultation. Virtual meetings have become part of the daily routine and have become a bridge of access during the coronavirus lockdown, particularly for consultations. Whilst there are many positives to this modus operandi and many consider it the future of industry, it is not that simple and has its many inadequacies – ones not considered by the insurers – as Mr Ian McDermott highlights in the IPT feature > click here to read more.
This decision by the insurers further demonstrates the lack of support felt by consultants (as seen in our recent survey) and only strengthens the bleak outlook on returning to private practice or private practice even being viable anymore. The private sector needs to come together to help each other through this pandemic and going forward so that private practice can continue to work alongside the NHS to deliver high quality care and access to their patients.
The time to work together is ever more pressing with the mounting waiting lists of patients who have been prevented from receiving care during this COVID-19 lockdown.
The UK is said to be in a ‘de-escalating phase’ with the number of new cases having fallen and so it is during this period that private practice should be opened more widely to receive non-urgent cases and admit care to patients.
This will not only re-open access to care for patients, but also encourage private consultants back to work and restart practice. You may read more on this here in the CEO of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network (IHPN), Mr David Hare, feature address in the IPT.
Thank you to all the key workers and healthcare staff for your incredible strength and work during this pandemic.
Take care and stay safe.