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Medical insurers offer Government partnership plan

The health insurance industry says the Government needs to build a

partnership with it to achieve its goal of waiting lists cut to three

months.

Prime Minister Tony Blair has unveiled the Government&#39s “big idea” on NHS

reform by slashing waiting lists.

While some commentators believe the move would deal a devastating blow to

health insurers, the industry maintains bringing down waiting lists should

involve a closer relationship between public and private sector.

Providers are also cynical about the timetable for the Prime Minister&#39s target.

Norwich Union spokeswoman Louise Zucchi says: “I would approach the idea

of three-month waiting lists with caution, given there are thousands of

people having to wait four times as long. Countries where there are no

waiting lists have systems where the public and private sector work

together.”

Standard Life Healthcare managing director Mike Hall says: “The public and

private sectors need to work together if the Government&#39s approach is to be

effective. This partnership is crucial to the success as both public and

private sectors should work together to find the solution.”

Nationwide Independent Medical Insurance Specialists managing director Zig

Malendewicz says: “It won&#39t happen overnight. Also the Government should

define what it means by waiting lists.

“Is it from the time from when you first see your GP or the time between

when you are notified of your appointment with a consultant?

“If it is the latter, they could just notify the patients two weeks before

consultations and create an image that waiting times have been slashed.”

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