Why concierge medicine is the future of primary medical care
Money can buy you many things, but health is the one thing you can’t put a price on – and many of us would go out of our way to ensure that both we and our loved ones have the very best in primary medical care. After all, we keep seeing news articles about how prevention is the new era of healthcare. Unfortunately, it’s not always as easy as it should be. So what is the answer?
In the UK, we’re fortunate to have access to the NHS, but long waiting lists and cancelled operations have left many patients at a loss, with valuable time being wasted when urgent treatment is required. However, that is only one side of the coin. In a world where whole genome sequencing, bio-identical hormones and personalised medicine are dominating headlines, even the UK’s private healthcare system (as it is currently set up) does not deliver this executive level of care. The problem is that for a great many people, it is unlikely they will ever receive the quality of preventive medical care they so urgently need, and in a timely manner – but now new options for healthcare are emerging.
Concierge medicine is a fresh model of healthcare. It is becoming a popular choice for a rapidly growing percentage of patients worldwide, and started back in 1996. Concierge practices offer 7-day access to your personal primary care physician (or GP); who is looking after up to 20 times fewer patients than in regular ‘non-concierge’ clinics. Patients pay an annual membership fee for this exclusive level of attention, which varies worldwide from £5,000 up to £80,000 annually. This membership fee would usually cover a 7-day house call doctor service, 24/7 medication delivery, tele-diagnosis throughout the week and personalised health check-ups which take a detailed, preventive approach. That powerful relationship between a family doctor and the patient is back.
Although many concierge medical practices can cost tens of thousands of pounds each year, a new breed offering vital care for far less has made concierge medical care more accessible than ever.
HealthClic, a London-based company who offer the service to clients, believe that supporting their patients with concierge medicine – who are often leaders in their respective fields – can help not only protect their health in the long term, but offer strength and empowerment to work hard and maintain their global standing. This is enabled with a HealthClic concierge physician; who each have a strong team behind them.
Priyanka Chaturvedi (CEO) at HealthClic, explains: “We recognise the relationship between a family doctor and the patient is of the utmost importance, and with this in mind, we have created a unique method delivering highly personalised concierge medicine in London.
“Our patients require healthcare which is preventive rather than reactive. If something happens to them, their companies could fall apart or their film projects could collapse overnight. They need a team who get this; and who really understand the unique challenges faced by global leaders… In terms of emotional health too. This is why we regularly train our doctors to HealthClic standard, and last year became the first team to offer whole genome sequencing to our patients.”
This test identifies the likelihood of developing various diseases throughout your lifetime (based on genetics), and while even Steve Jobs had taken such a test prior to his death, Angelina Jolie had also in the past made headlines for discovering she was at high risk of developing breast cancer. She famously had a double mastectomy as a result to reduce her risk. It is a test so revolutionary that the NHS are in discussions to introduce genome sequencing for all patients in the future.
When asked if HealthClic Doctors are finding the test useful, Priyanka explained: “It is truly transforming the way our doctors can work with patients with this information – and it’s brilliant. We can take carefully planned, proactive steps to prevent onset of various diseases, but the test also tells us [across hundreds of drugs] which ones each patient will metabolise the best and which side-effects they are likely to suffer. This is incredible; it is precision medicine at its best.”
Priyanka continues: “As a concierge practice, we have the time to make sure our patients are receiving the very best medical care available, who are supported with priority access to some of the finest private hospitals and consultants in the UK. They all know HealthClic patients are taken care of on priority and that there is a separate standard for our patients.”
As a concierge medical service, patients wishing to register with HealthClic can pay an annual membership fee. The billing seems simple, you have all of your primary care taken care of and HealthClic hold your hand through everything. Perhaps this is why concierge medicine is often referred to as the “Rolls Royce of medical care”.
In the UK and across the globe, the need for high-quality primary medical care is greater than ever and with an ever-increasing population and the NHS now more swamped than ever, this is only set to accelerate over the coming years. With more and more people willing to pay for superior medical care, Concierge Medicine could well be the answer – providing support when it is needed the most, as well as peace of mind.