Letter: Bupa stands by its NHS policy

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The Independent Online
From Mr A. J. Vallance-Owen

Sir: Obviously, Dr Loveday (letter, 2 August) understands the concerns of consultant anaesthetists over Bupa's policy on "private" patients and intensive care, but Bupa's prime concern in this regard must be for its subscribers.

When citizens of this country are admitted, as emergencies off the street, directly to intensive care via an NHS Accident & Emergency department, we believe they are entitled to the highest standards of care the NHS can offer to save their lives without even needing to think about having to pay for it. In this situation, the NHS is providing no extra service if it persuades the patient to sign up to private status, although the trust might gain extra income. So our subscribers gain no extra benefit but might, in the long run, have to end up paying more in premiums to pay for it.

We will, therefore, stand by our policy. We would not like to see a situation in the future where insured patients were somehow no longer eligible for NHS care.

Yours faithfully,

A J Vallance-Owen

Medical Director

Bupa

London, WC2

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