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Hundreds of patients referred to private fund – only to be seen by same consultant

Hundreds of consultants referred patients to the National Treatment Purchase Fund – and ended up treating them a second time.

OVER 700 PATIENTS have referred to the National Treatment Purchase Fund by medical consultants in the last three years – only to end up being treated by the same consultants on a private basis.

Details supplied to the Medical Independent newspaper indicate that 714 patients were treated by the same consultant twice – first in the public health system, and again after being referred to the NTPF by that consultant.

Over 450 of those instances came in 2009, according to documents supplied under the Freedom of Information Act. The number of patients seen by the same consultant accounted for around 2 per cent of all NTPF referrals in 2009.

The double referrals come despite the fund’s policy that patients should not be treated by the same consultant who referred them.

The fund, which stopped accepting patients earlier this year, was established in 2002 to buy treatment in private hospitals for patients who have been on public waiting lists for a certain period of time.

Read the full story in the Medical Independent >

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