Future Healthcare

You’ve nothing to fear in revealing your fees

Opinion

By Prof Frank Chinegwundoh, consultant urological surgeon at Barts Health NHS Trust and Harley Street, London.

Prof Frank Chinegwundoh

The Private Healthcare Inform­ation Network (PHIN) began publishing the fees of over 4,500 UK consultants on its website nearly four months ago. 

It was another important step towards increasing price transparency in the private healthcare sector. 

All consultants with a private practice in the UK are required by Article 22 from the 2014 Comp­etition and Markets Auth­ority order to provide their consultation and procedure fees to PHIN. 

What surprises me as I compile this article is that there are around 10,000 practising consultants in the UK who are still yet to submit fee information to the organisation. 

Changed climate

Well, I understand that there is a natural reticence to say what you charge when it can be compared with all your local and national competitors. Financial matters have traditionally been private. But we do need to acknowledge the changed climate.

In my experience, patients are more likely to choose a consultant whose information is readily available. They will prefer the peace of mind of no cost surprises, and so a breakdown of your costs is important information you can provide a patient. 

OK, so my initial experience with submitting data to the PHIN portal was not a positive one.

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