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Q&A about private healthcare and insurance in the UK with Aviva’s Medical Director, Dr Doug Wright - ANSWERS BACK

(40 Posts)
LucilleMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 29-Apr-14 12:12:56

Are you interested in learning about private healthcare or insurance but can't find the time to do it amongst all your other pressures? This week we’re running a Q&A with Dr Doug who’s on hand to help you decide whether it's right for you. No question is too big or small for him to answer, your questions can be as simple as ‘what is it?’

Dr Doug is the Medical Director at Aviva. He joined Norwich Union Healthcare (now known as Aviva) 15 years ago from full time practice as a GP and has combined clinical background with strong commercial expertise. He has held various roles at Aviva and his role now is to ensure that Aviva makes business decisions based on a sound understanding of what is needed clinically.

Aviva says “Every day we’re faced with different pressures – whether it’s juggling our work-life balance, getting used to life with a new baby or simply finding time to deal with that pressing piece of admin. Even the most resilient amongst us needs a little support every now and again. That’s why we include a 24-hour stress counselling helpline as part of our private health insurance policy. Customers can call a specialist counsellor at any time of the day or night to talk chat through their concerns. And, if they need extra help, there’s additional specialist support available.”

Even if you’re not an Aviva customer, you can get invaluable stress management tips by following the progress of our Mumsnet bloggers as they embark on their ‘stress less’ challenge – a personal action plan developed by Aviva’s experts. You can also share your own tips on dealing with stress here.

Post your questions to Dr Doug before the end of today (Tuesday 6 May) and we’ll send over a selection and post up his answers on Monday 26 May.

This Q&A is sponsored by Aviva.

SueDNim Tue 29-Apr-14 16:25:11

I'm curious as to how much use your helpline gets. I have access to a similar helpline and I think also one through my profession and it has never occurred to me to use them.

HomeHelpMeGawd Tue 29-Apr-14 16:27:55

Dear Dr Doug,

How do you feel about the morality of your business paying practically nothing towards the costs of the clinical training of the doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals you employ? These costs are paid for by the public purse.

MrsPixieMoo Fri 02-May-14 07:46:26

Homehelp you're incorrect. Medical students and student nurses train at universities and now pay fees. The NHS is heavily subsidised and benefits from doctors and nurses in training. It doesn't pay for them in the way you suggest.

HomeHelpMeGawd Fri 02-May-14 17:24:05

You are wrong about my being wrong. I didn't talk about the NHS, I talked about the public purse. Student fees only part-cover the costs of clinical degrees, with the rest of the funding coming from the public purse. And the NHS doesn't receive subsidies for clinical training - the opposite, in fact: it pays subsidies to students to help them with their costs.

I've done quite a bit of work professionally on these funding arrangements, and i can say with some certainty that I am right on this. Private health providers do not pay towards the clinical training of their staff, while the public purse does (and as part of this the NHS receives education funding and commissions and delivers training). We can get into the detail if you like... Or you can just google "financial support for students nhs" if you want a quick précis.

Incidentally, I can't work out what you might mean when you say "the NHS is heavily subsidised". How can a publicly-funded service be "subsidised"? The only thing I can think of is that you mean cross-subsidy between the NHS and institutes of higher education, but that works the other way round.

HomeHelpMeGawd Fri 02-May-14 17:25:25

Here, I'll make things easier for you:

HomeHelpMeGawd Fri 02-May-14 17:26:44

That was just the undergraduate stuff. But you can follow the links to read about Foundation training.

angryangryyoungwoman Sat 03-May-14 12:34:55

My question... Do you think it is acceptable to help create two tier leveled health care in a country that has one the best health care systems in the world, which is, crucially, available to everyone, regardless of social status? Justify why some people deserve a different level of care because they have money please.

Pennyforthegal Sat 03-May-14 23:29:02



SueDNim Sun 04-May-14 00:18:40

You might not agree with private healthcare Penny, but I am sure that there are plenty of MNetters who do.

Pennyforthegal Sun 04-May-14 00:42:02

It's not a discussion or information about private hc as such though is it, it's a specific company Aviva.
Sponsored by Aviva.
In case we haven't been able to register with them yet because we are ' too busy' .
It's promotion of Aviva in the guise of general information.

SueDNim Sun 04-May-14 09:42:16

Discussions which are really promotions are quite common on MN. MN is a business.

FumiYamamoto Sun 04-May-14 10:29:12

I have medical insurance and when I need to use it I find it much cheaper when I go to the specialist and pay myself and then claim back from the insurance company however I'm not encouraged to do this at all.

This makes me very uneasy as I don't like paying over the top for something and I find it morally wrong that insurance companies appear to be encouraging this.

The specialists I have attended all seem to be in one the game as well as they always ask about whether I have insurance or not. If I say I have then the cost goes up. If I say I haven't I get a much better price, pay myself and then claim on my insurance.

Would welcome your comments.

Pennyforthegal Sun 04-May-14 11:52:56

Just pointing it out, Sue, just pointing it out

MN, why are you promoting Private HC as if it is the most natural thing in the world that we may not have been able to explore fully yet as we may be too busy??

If you are being paid by Aviva to advertise or if you are not being paid but have some other benefit from doing this please make this clear as this is being posted under the pretence of general information .

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 05-May-14 08:50:50

When will the private health insurers start helping our children with autism? It is definitely a core health need, affecting pretty much every single aspect of my son's life (from talking through to eating , washing, sleeping, safety etc etc) and yet from a private health perspective it is 'sayonara' straight after diagnosis.

In the US they now fund behavioural therapies like ABA or physical stuff like occupational therapy.

Will we follow ? Thanks for reading.

Pennyforthegal Mon 05-May-14 14:32:08

I'd be interested to see how Private health carers would take on long term conditions and illnesses in general... Ok for a consultation from time to time but no way providing all care for diabetes elderly care etc the subscriptions would be astronomical! That's what the NHS has been for... Looking after everyone regardless of the frequency and expense of their needs.

sickofsocalledexperts Mon 05-May-14 16:37:42

Yes Penny, interesting point. My son has two disabilities which aren't going away (autism and type 1 diabetes). Autism can respond really well to early interventions like ABA; type 1 diabetes will require insulin for life. But in both cases my private health insurer (PPP, not Aviva) gets off the hook by declaring "pre-existing condition" the moment he gets diagnosed. Although I have to say BUPA was awesome when my mum got cancer and died within 3 weeks: they did not quibble once in that scenario.

I do not know what the answer is but would be interested in Dr Doug's views.

WooWooOwl Mon 05-May-14 16:42:17

Is it possible to get decent insurance when a member of your family has a pre existing condition like type 2 diabetes? Does it make a difference if it's well controlled, or if there have been previous complications?

gelati3 Mon 05-May-14 17:25:35

I have private health insurance through work. Went to see my GP about a lump in my breast, who said she would arrange a check up at NHS hospital.The appointment would be in 4 weeks time and I would have to wait to get results. Decided to use my policy (not with Aviva by the way) and go private- was seen by a doctor the next day and got results the following.

SnowyMouse Tue 06-May-14 19:41:05

Can you get insurance with pre-existing health conditions?

weebarra Tue 06-May-14 20:05:35

Do you cover things like prophylactic mastectomy in the case of individuals being BRCA positive? Lots of companies don't.

Pennyforthegal Wed 07-May-14 11:19:13

Has anyone evr tried to get travel health insurance from a private provider with ( shock horror) an illness... They do not provide insurance it's as simple as that. That is what will happen with healthcare when the nhs goes, Sorry Mrs Penny but your asthma combined with recent admission for such means we cannot provide any cover.
Private health care is for People with no illnesses.
NOW do people see why the NHS is needed, because its for everyone.
Time to stop abusing it and start supporting it.... I'm speaking to you Cameron as you dismantle it on the quiet .

WhosLookingAfterCourtney Wed 07-May-14 16:16:05

I'd like to say that I am not interested in finding out about private health insurance. Not because I'm 'too busy' but because it is an offensive concept.

gelati3 Wed 07-May-14 17:00:53

Problem with NHS is that it deals with symptoms, not the cause.

Pennyforthegal Wed 07-May-14 17:42:15

MN have not commented.

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