Some of the UK's private healthcare providers are turning to telephone GP consultations, in a move to make it easier and quicker for patients to get an opinion. Oh, and maybe to save money, but that's only a happy coincidence.
It's being put in place in private clinics by a training company called Productive Primary Care, which is selling a system it calls Doctor First -- alongside claims it could save £30,000 a year for each GP signed up. Some 730,000 patients should already have access to the scheme.
The other selling points, as if they matter when there's loads of money to be saved, are that the telephone appointment system allows the sickest people to be seen first, they say, plus the near end of the curse of people not turning up for booked appointments means GPs are allowed to make better use of their time.
A similar scheme is being offered to around 100 practises by private medical firm GP Access, which claims surgeries might see a 20 per cent increase in GP productivity as a result. [Express]