Following the decision of the OFT (Office of Fair Trading) to refer the private healthcare market to the Competition Commission, Wayne Pontin, Chairman of AMII (Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries) and Sales Director (West) of Jelf Employee Benefits said on behalf of the health insurance industry:
“This outcome is welcomed as we feel it is a sensible decision and will ultimately benefit consumers. At present there is no transparency of costs for services and treatment and we are particularly concerned that over 90% of the ownership of independent private hospitals is through venture capitalists whose focus is on profit before patient care.
“Following on from BUPA’s stance on open referrals and its discussion with hospital group BMI, this appears to support the need for greater involvement of private medical insurance providers working alongside AMII to enhance the private healthcare sector.
“We also welcome the OFT recognition of non competitive practices of loyalty bonuses being paid to private practitioners which goes completely against freedom of choice.”