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Why are consultations so expensive?

(42 Posts)
RainbowsAndCrystals Fri 10-Nov-17 17:34:07

I'm trying to see a dermatologist in London and pretty much every appointment is over £200. That's not even for a treatment sad

RainbowsAndCrystals Fri 10-Nov-17 17:34:24

Sorry meant to post this in chat

Namechangetempissue Fri 10-Nov-17 17:38:04

I suppose because the doctor is still taking time out to see you, review any notes, do an starter assessment and probably to ensure they don't have lots of people make free appointments on a whim with no intention of booking a treatment?
It does sound expensive, but it is London -have you looked around?

ChocolateDinosaur Fri 10-Nov-17 17:39:26

How much would you pay a lawyer?
A consultant is a highly educated and qualified professional, that’s why it costs

Floralnomad Fri 10-Nov-17 17:40:35

I doubt you will find one cheaper in the SE . £220-£250 is average for any consultant initial visit IME , subsequent visits are usually a bit cheaper .

sunnyrainyday Fri 10-Nov-17 17:47:30

Most of our consultants in my hospital in London are £250 to £350 depending on the area of specialism

WillWorkForShoes Fri 10-Nov-17 19:06:01

I saw an opthamologist in the North West and it was about £200, so it sounds like you're getting a good deal.

A consultation isn't just a chat, it might involve investigation (mine did) and as long as you've picked the right consultant, their experience is worth it. :-)

FeelingAggrieved Fri 10-Nov-17 19:09:45

Because you're paying for specialist time and either you won't go ahead with the treatment which would make it a waste of time for them with a low fee, or you will, and the cost of the consultation fee is usually taken off that.

Bombardier25966 Fri 10-Nov-17 19:10:29

It seems expensive because we're used to seeing NHS doctors for "free". When you see the cost of private care, or that other professions charge, you realise how much the NHS costs to run.

hiyasminitsme Fri 10-Nov-17 19:12:13

Terrible that a highly trained professional in one of the most expensive cities in the world should expect to be paid properly. Treble that for a central London lawyer.

Floralnomad Fri 10-Nov-17 19:12:15

and the cost of the consultation fee is usually taken off that
That’s not the case IME , might be with cosmetic surgeons but not for normal consultants .

hiyasminitsme Fri 10-Nov-17 19:20:13

Plus you do realise that their indemnity insurance is probably £5-10000 per year so they have to earn that before they take anything home.

Wiggles9408 Fri 10-Nov-17 19:20:36

Hmm I’m not sure you’d get the fee off the treatment, maybe enquire before commiting to that. But unfortunately the private anything sectors are always pretty expensive :/ could you go further afield maybe see if there are places a little cheaper? But then remember to weigh up the pros and cons of going further afield, you may save £50.00 on consultation fee but then you may be spending £30/£40 on travel etc. Good luck I hope you find the right person for the right price!

Thumbcat Fri 10-Nov-17 19:24:57

They also need to factor in the rent for their a swanky consulting rooms and cost of employing a secretary.

Shoppingwithmother Fri 10-Nov-17 19:25:31

If you go for an NHS appointment, you might never see the actual consultant, and if you did it would be for about 5mins.

At a private consultation you’ll have typically an hour of the highly experienced ‘s undivided attention.

That is worth at least £200 IMO

Hulder Fri 10-Nov-17 19:37:48

Private consultation with any consultant dr for anything is usually £250 minus tests etc. £200 for follow ups.

Realistically derm is a bargain given you don't need any X-rays, blood tests, surgery etc.

You are paying for a highly qualified doctors undivided attention. They will have been training for 14-15 years to be in the position to charge you £250 for an appointment.

Seriously, how much do you pay for an emergency plumber? And how long did they train for?

If you are seeing them for acne or similar, add up how much you have wasted over the years on ineffective skincare and how much you are likely to continue to waste without their help.

However - in London, make sure you are seeing a properly qualified derm consultant who also has an NHS practice. There are loads of overpriced people out there to make a fast buck.

Sprogletsmuvva Fri 10-Nov-17 19:51:18

There’s a lot of formal learning, experience etc behind that price (leaving aside all the operating costs also mentioned).

In my job, we charge £100ph and what we doesn’t require any formal qualifications whatsoever. The price is partly to put people off - it’s often stuff that people are entirely capable of sorting out for themselves but can’t be bothered - also as an osshoot of government we ca’t legally undercut the private sector- but we still seem to get plenty of people willing to pay it!

Sprogletsmuvva Fri 10-Nov-17 19:52:34

Forgot to clarify my job is not medical related!

RainbowsAndCrystals Fri 10-Nov-17 20:17:12

I think the point I'm making is that there's nothing to say that my issue can be treated and then having to pay for another consultation. Potentially having to spend £500/£600 without getting anywhere.

I'd be happy If they would refund it back if they decided that they couldn't help you.

Some places won't even allow you to use the consultation fee against the products/treatment that you may go on to have with them.

watchingthedetectives Fri 10-Nov-17 20:24:19

They will be paying secretarial fees, room rental fees, medical insurance fees etc out of that money and then tax . When its all deducted its not as much as it seems.
Plus why would you expect to be refunded if they couldn't help you - that would just result in endless further opinions on the same untreatable problem

Didiplanthis Fri 10-Nov-17 20:24:28

They will need to be paying out of that for rooms, staff, equipment in addition for their time and expertise. Why would they refund you ??? They still have to pay all that and you are paying for a 'consultation' which is what you got. Ps that was very cheap !!!

Floralnomad Fri 10-Nov-17 20:26:49

Well they are hardly going to work for nothing are they .

Hulder Fri 10-Nov-17 20:31:26

Well of course they won't use the fees against the products.

If you are going somewhere reputable not a cosmetic derm then you have spent £250 on an opinion and then £x on a private prescription not products FFS. As mentioned above the fee is covering not only the opinion, but rooms, secretarial fees, doctors indemnity (probably thousands), tax etc etc.

Said private prescription may or may not work, hopefully it will but it might not - that is the way of medicine. You go back for F/U and see.

This is honestly how medicine works, you get a great deal from the NHS!

BritInUS1 Fri 10-Nov-17 20:32:11

They are running businesses, they have an amount they need to charge to cover their costs and make a profit. Unfortunately in the UK we are completely spoilt with the NHS and this affects our expectations in the private sector.

You are asking a professional who has spent many years studying and training for an hour of their time and expertise, you should expect to pay. Why would they do this for free? Would you work for free?

fucksakefay Fri 10-Nov-17 20:35:26

It's going to be pretty unlikely they can't do anything isn't it? They are a specialist I doubt they will just say no sorry spend £200 elsewhere

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