Competition, Orders, and Self-Pay
Medical Director Sheraz Daya, also the Chief Medical Editor of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today Europe, writes an editorial on a very topical subject in the UK which is the Competitions and Market Authority’s (CMA) investigation into private healthcare practice.
Mr. Daya expresses his views about how practice in the UK might change and what his colleagues need to consider going forward. The majority of the expectations of the CMA are very reasonable including transparency regarding pricing, declaration of financial interests and provision of outcome information. There are slight concerns about the doctors owning and using technology on their patients.
Medicine is becoming very technology based and in the 21st Century in sophisticated specialities like ophthalmology, accurate diagnosis and in monitoring of progress can not be performed without supporting diagnostic technology. Good technology is expensive, however provides the treating doctor with considerable information. As Centre for Sight patients will attest, considerable use is made of technology and often results are verified using two different devices using different methodology. Yes our consultants are a little obsessive, and surely that cannot be a bad thing when it comes to eye care?
As the “Order” from the CMA becomes implemented there will undoubtedly be changes in behaviour – as to whether this will have an impact in terms of competition, only time will tell. Meanwhile for those in the medical profession who might be dismissive, they might take notice of a recent sanction against a group of eye surgeons.
“The Consultant Eye Surgeon Partnership” (CESP) was recently fined a hefty sum of £500,000.00 discounted to £425K for infringing competition law – details of which can be found here. This is the first time enforcement action has been taken against medical professionals demonstrating that the CMA is serious about ensuring the private healthcare market is competitive and fair.
Centre for Sight was established in 1996 to provide the ultimate in private eye care. The organization approaching its 20th year remains successful and exemplary earning a national and international reputation. The Centre will adopt technology that it believes will be useful in accomplishing its mission and trust they will be permitted to remain a vertically integrated organization which it believes is vital in ensuring patients obtain excellent care from consultation, diagnostics to surgery all under one roof.
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