In a move intended to push back the boundaries of traditional health insurance, Norwich Union Healthcare and Sinclair Montrose Healthcare have launched a unique primary care private medical insurance product.
GP First is the only insurance scheme to cover the services provided by family doctors, including guaranteed access to a GP with a lengthy consultation if required, and health screening. This is supported by a 24 hour GP Helpline, the first telephone advice service to be operated by GPs.
Annual premiums cost £120 for an adult and £54 for a child.
The policy benefits include:
• Four free consultations a year at any Medicentre.
• Cover for a range of minor surgical procedures.
• Home visits, day or night, for those living in a 20-mile radius of a Medicentre, at a cost of £45.
Tim Baker, commercial director at NU Healthcare, said the affordability of GP First meant people could have access to private GP surgeries at a time when NHS services were under pressure.
“GPs have become increasingly dissatisfied on a professional basis during the last few years due to pressures within the system like fundholding. There is now a need to develop a separate private network for primary care.”
• NU Healthcare took a 5% stake in Sinclair Montrose last October with a view to developing products linked to Medicentre drop-in surgeries. But the clinics have recently come under scrutiny from Health Which?
magazine, which voiced concern about the level of care provided by Medicentre GPs.
Kate Bleasdale, group chief executive at Sinclair Montrose, said its lawyers were investigating the situation. She added Health Which?
had been asked for details of its allegations but the magazine had refused to pass on any information.