View more on these topics

Just what doctor ordered

Public expectations cannot be met by the NHS and we should be looking to adopt a different funding system such as social insurance. But first we would need to change perceptions about medical insurance.

“We believe the time has come to consider a new way to deliver healthcare in Britain.” This was not a medical insurer speaking, not even a medical insurance intermediary but Doctors for Reform – a group of 500 doctors who all work in the NHS and are, in their own words “committed to its values”.

DFR believes the NHS cannot meet public expectations and we should be looking to change to a different funding system such as social insurance which, in countries such as France and Germany, provides some of the best healthcare systems in the world while retaining the fundamental principle of being universally and equitably available.

However, such a change will not happen overnight. It will involve a process of gradual transition. That process could be accelerated if more people adopt and become familiar with the concept of medical insurance but for this to happen, we need to grow the health insurance market.

The major obstacles that need to be overcome are public and governmental perception of medical insurance and the affordability of medical insurance policies. The industry should be enc-ouraging DFR to join it in lobbying the Government to withdraw insurance premium tax from medical insurance and provide tax relief for those people who are prepared to subsidise the cost of their healthcare by paying for a PMI policy.

Insurers need to reduce costs and DFR could assist them in achieving this by advising on the latest cost-effective treatments compared with the cost of more traditional procedures. For example, the cost of a colonoscopy is around £1,500 but the procedure often results in internal damage and several days of inpatient treatment, incurring further costs. Using modern technology, it is possible to replace a traditional colon-oscopy with a non-invasive scan which can be performed in a single day and cost as little as £600.

At the Laing and Buisson conference in 2002, I suggested that we should perhaps be encouraging the development of a network of cost-eff-ective day-case centres with minimal infrastructure, high turnover and low profit margins to lower the cost of many procedures.

DFR may well have the knowledge and expertise within its ranks to advise and assist the industry to this end. In short, we should at least be talking with DFR to discuss how we can work tog-ether to provide better, more efficient healthcare. DFR and the health insurance industry are effectively singing from the same hymn sheet. We should be forming a choir.

Stephen Walker is chairman of AMII and director of Medical Insurance


Cap increase needed to incentivise providers – Smith

The Government&#39s price-capped medium term investment product and pension product will both carry a maximum annual management charge of 1.5 per cent for the first 10 years that the product is held and 1 per cent thereafter. A statement from Department for Work and Pensions secretary of state Andrew Smith says the increase in the […]

Mortgage Express chief rejects BTL practice code

Mortgage Express managing director Tim Dawson has hit out at AMI calls for buy to let to come under a code of practice, saying the comments are “misplaced”. The AMI says introducing a code of practice would bolster confidence in the BTL sector, a view backed by Zurich Mortgage Network which wants a code similar […]

Premier Fund Managers- Premier Diva Growth Plan: Limited Editions 19

Type: Capital-protected fund of hedge funds Aim: Growth linked to the performance of the Barclays Global Investors Diversified Alpha Fund 1 Minimum investment: £25,000 Investment split: 100% linked to the performance of the Barclays Global InvestorsDiversified Alpha Fund 1 Term: Five years Return: Up to 70% growth in the Barclays Global Investors Diversified Alpha Fund […]

Pru plea for employers to boost financial planning

Almost three-quarters of retired people did not seek help with their financial planning before to their retirement according to a survey from Prudential. The survey of 268 adults aged 45 or over who planned to retire in May found that 72 per cent did not seek financial advice. Pru is calling upon employers to offer […]

Childcare - thumbnail

Three questions for employers…

The Family and Childcare Trust’s annual survey has been widely reported in the media and the two headline figures were these: the average cost of a nursery place for a child under two has risen by 33 per cent since 2010; and the costs have risen by five per cent in a single year.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers. Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm