NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Patients Shun National Health Service for Private Clinic

June 12, 2013

A private doctor's surgery run by Poles is attracting thousands of patients who have given up on the U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS). Open seven days a week, usually until 11pm, the clinic gives half-hour appointments, which is three times longer than usual. Despite charging £70 ($109) a visit, it already has almost 6,000 Britons on its books. Customers are welcomed into the spotless and modern center by friendly receptionists whose motto is to "put patients first," says the Daily Mail (U.K.).

  • Two thirds of NHS patients have to wait more than 48 hours for a doctor's appointment and few slots are available outside regular work week hours.
  • The Polish Clinic (called My Medyk) offers various services, including dental surgery, varicose vein surgery, Botox, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and counseling sessions.
  • The clinic was founded five years ago by two Polish doctors but now employs 50 staff, the majority of whom are Poles.

My Medyk, which is regulated by the Care Quality Commission, will usually refer patients to their closest hospital and any scans, chemotherapy, surgery or other procedures will be funded by the NHS.

  • Fees for writing out prescriptions are included, but not the cost of the drugs themselves.
  • Treatments available include a pregnancy ultrasound scan for £90 ($140) and stitches for £45 ($70).
  • My Medyk has 30,000 patients on its books -- five times the average for a General Practitioner surgery, and between 15 and 20 percent are British.
  • The only day it is not open until 11pm is Sunday, when it shuts at 6pm.

This Polish medical clinic is just the start of a rise in privately provided health care in the United Kingdom. The citizens of the United Kingdom are in desperate need of quality health care because of the lack of care provided by government provided doctors.

Source: Francesca Infante, "Patients Shun NHS for Clinics Run by Polish GPs: Cut-Price Private Surgeries Where You Can See a Doctor Seven Days a Week," Daily Mail (U.K.), June 7, 2013.


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