BUPA Insurance and the Cromwell Hospital, London March 2008
On 17 March 2008, BUPA announced that its mainstream insurance business is buying the lease, with an option to buy the freehold, of the Cromwell Hospital in London.
Coming so soon after its sale of the separate BUPA hospital subsidiary, this represents a change of strategy for the market dominant personal medical insurance business and may not only impact the medical and consulting teams at the Cromwell Hospital, but also consultants practising throughout the London area.
In its announcement, BUPA emphasised that the Cromwell will be its ‘flagship’ hospital in the capital and:
“We believe there is tremendous opportunity to introduce modern, innovative ways of delivering healthcare in the capital offering high levels of customer service, clinical excellence and more cost effective care.
“We will be investing a further £30 million in the Cromwell Hospital over the next two years to create a centre of excellence for private patients.”
There are potentially significant issues for consultants and their patients arising from these statements if, for example BUPA was to impose certain restrictive networks:
FIPO invites comments from consultants and others about this issue.