Following the publication of my recent post about crowdfunding to pay vet bills, I got to thinking about the massive hurdle we, as veterinary professionals, face when explaining medical care costs to clients.

Medical invoice
“I am aware how much I’m costing the NHS. It’s not a small amount.” Image ©

We’re currently facing an NHS crisis, and the fight to keep the National Health Service free at point of use is hard. However, the principle of free health care for all UK residents was one of the founding principles of the NHS, and one people are keen to see unchanged.

Unfortunately, I don’t think people will appreciate the NHS and make use of it appropriately while they remain ignorant of the costs associated with their care.

With this in mind, I wonder: could an NHS invoicing system improve this situation, while also helping our clients make better sense of the costs of pet care?

I’ve had numerous hospital appointments and procedures over the years and, having paid for some of these privately, I am aware how much I’m costing the NHS. It’s not a small amount, and this knowledge helps me focus on what I should be doing to make myself healthy and make the most of the treatments I have been receiving.

It also makes me appreciate the value I get from my vet.

I realise with my experience I am able to make the link between the two, but I believe veterinary clients are intelligent people and would hope invoicing from the NHS could bring improvements to both sides.

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2 Comments on "Invoicing the patient"

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1 year 2 months ago
Yes! I have long been hoping for such a system, where patients are informed of how much their treatment/appointment/medicine has cost the NHS. I was having a nice chat with the postman the other day who was asking how my studies were going, and he told me about how his dog had a pyo a few years ago, how the dog nearly died, and what it all cost (£1,200). He wasn’t complaining, but felt it was a lot of money. When I mentioned how much a hysterectomy for a woman would cost – £2,362 (according to Croydon PCT) and that’s… Read more »
Jane Davidson
Jane Davidson
1 year 2 months ago

Hi Kelly,
Thanks for the support. It would be really interesting to trial this, especially as we now get access to patient costs on the NHS from the Internet.

I’m glad your postman valued his pets life as much as a humans, and was surprised at the lower price. We like him!

Ultimately could this increase client compliance with advice for treatment protocols?Realising that a protocol is recommended for its efficacy, not to make money might help clients decide, and vets get over the public image that they are money grabbers.


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