Letter: Bupa's duty to its members

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The Independent Online
Sir: Dr Loveday (letter, 13 May) has a duty to represent the interests of consultants but Bupa, as a Provident Association with no shareholders, owes its prime duty of care to its members. It is, therefore, absurd to suggest that Bupa would promote any product that is not advantageous to those members, both in terms of quality and competitive premium price.

We have a good understanding of our members' requirements and I am confident that members of the Bupa Health Fund will have easy access to hospitals of the highest quality. In the rare case that these hospitals do not have appropriate facilities, members will naturally be approved to go to the best hospital available, which may often be one of the NHS specialist centres of excellence.

In summary, Bupa members will continue to be covered for appropriate treatment at quality hospitals which may - when necessary - include NHS trusts, but it should be remembered that our members, as citizens of this country, are also entitled to obtain their treatment under the NHS; this choice is fundamental and one which Bupa believes must be retained despite the pressures of the health care market.

A J Vallance-Owen

Medical Director

Bupa

London WC2

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