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How to find concierge (private) doctors / medicine in Europe and Asia?
April 20, 2011 12:03 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking to find doctors who practice private/concierge medicine in Europe and Asia. These doctors typically charge an upfront fee and gives you significantly more attention (ie, he has 500 instead of 3000 patients; is available immediately 24/7). They usually practice family medicine or internal medicine. This type of doctor is growing in the US, but I can't seem to find them elsewhere in the world...
posted by JiffyQ to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
 
that tends to be because of different health systems. Basically a luxury hotel concierge can put you in touch with a private practitioner in any specialty in any country in the world. Even a generalist, as they have them on 24 hour call. I'm sure some cc packages offer this too.
what exactly are you looking for? If you even need a top-notch surgeon any specialty anywhere in the UK, memail me and I won't even chanrge you ;)
posted by Wilder at 4:43 AM on April 20, 2011


The problem is likely that you just don't have enough money. The people that can afford and regularly use these professionals move in the circles where these sorts of services are spread by word-of-mouth. They don't advertise. It's the kind of thing where if you have to ask how to get in touch with them or how much it costs, you can't afford it.

Still, the concierge at a luxury hotel is not a bad idea. Just call the move fantastically expensive hotel you can find and see what they can do for you.
posted by valkyryn at 4:45 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


These are becoming common in the US because both the Medical establishment and the Health Care industry are messed up beyond repair. The US has too few doctors, and the med schools here are too selective and too expensive in terms of time and money, and kept that way by the AMA to artificially inflate MD's salaries.

At the same time, the health care providers, insurance companies and HMOs, are failing completely at controlling costs, and making it difficult for the doctors to deal with their patients by making them jump through endless bureaucratic hoops.

In first world countries with a modern health care system, doctors are plentiful and well paid by a government-managed system, so there's less of an incentive for them to go this route. You can still find private doctors, but they're for the truly well off, and not just for middle-class folks who are frustrated with the current system. Mostly because the system pretty much works.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:36 AM on April 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


In the UK you'd take out private medical insurance and under some of the more expensive plans you get access to private patient only primary care doctors. Google Bupa or pruhealth (there are dozens more) to get started.
posted by dmt at 6:36 AM on April 20, 2011


In first world countries with a modern health care system, doctors are plentiful and well paid by a government-managed system, so there's less of an incentive for them to go this route. You can still find private doctors, but they're for the truly well off, and not just for middle-class folks who are frustrated with the current system. Mostly because the system pretty much works.

This is not at all what concierge physicians are intended to correct. Not only is your statement of why the US system is in trouble pretty skewed, but it misunderstands why such physicians exist even in countries where "the system pretty much works."

Concierge physicians exist to provide private care. Not necessarily better care. Rich people hire them, not because they're necessarily worried about how well or quickly they'll be treated at the local hospital, but because they don't want to expose their private lives to public scrutiny any more than they have to. I mean, if you or I get in a car accident, showing up in the local emergency room is not news. But if a famous actor or politician does, it can make the front page. And this is to say nothing about incidents involving drugs, alcohol, or other potentially embarrassing/damaging activities. Again, us plebes can just roll in to the local ED without a second thought, but someone with a prominent public image is going to think twice about that.

There's also the issue of just wanting their privacy. You and I can basically expect to be left pretty much alone in a hospital other than the staff. But if you're a public figure, you're worried even about the presence of hospital staff, so other options become important.

Remember the movie Eyes Wide Shut? The main character was basically an on-call physician for the rich set. He provided a certain amount of medical care, but his main service was his discretion, both in terms of not blabbing their business and being willing to show up at godawful hours in godawful places to "handle" godawful events, which may or may not be caused by the vice/stupidity of their clients.

This is why concierge physicians exist all over the world, not due to any particular failing on the part of the public health system. They provide a service which the public health system is simply not intended to provide. This is also why they're the kind of "If you have to ask, you don't need/can't afford them" professional that doesn't need to advertise.
posted by valkyryn at 7:47 AM on April 20, 2011


Those physicians, the gold-plated private clinic docs, aren't the doctors the questioner is referring to.

There is a new trend for private physicians for everyday folks - you pony up $1000-$2000 a year, plus whatever the insurance company pays for a Dr. visit, and you get house calls and more thorough in-office appointments. Oh, and the Dr. dumps all of their patients who don't pay the yearly subscription cost, leaving working class patients in the areas they service in the dust.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:10 AM on April 20, 2011


When in India, I found that most of the "clinics" and hospitals were corporate affairs, in that they are private and for-profit. Most of the middle-class and rich guys don't visit Government clinics/hospitals as they are very crowded. The insurance system there also is oriented towards private care.

In fact, there are large chains there (like Doctor's Express in some parts of the US), which have clinics that run from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM. Larger hospitals have 24/7 primary care.

Oh and all types of specialists (like gynaecs, oncologists) practice medicine privately, not just general physicians.
posted by theobserver at 8:16 AM on April 20, 2011


This is in the USA.

I have a concierge doctor that my employer is kindly paying for. His yearly charge is $2400. I also pay for private health insurance to the tune of about $500 a month. Previously, if I saw a different doctor under my health insurance, I would pay a $30 co-pay for each visit. Now I see my concierge doctor every few weeks (to oversee some medical issues I have), and I don't pay any out of pocket expenses for any visits. Any tests he orders is covered through my regular health insurance and I pay the usual co-pays or whatever through that.

The biggest difference? I have to BEG him to not spend more than an hour with me! Not only that, if my appointment is at 4:00 pm, I see him at 4:00 pm - I don't wait 45 minutes to see a doctor just for a 10-minute glossed over visit. He only has 300 patients, some of whom he sees very regularly, and others he says only comes once a year. I have his private cell phone number and he tells me to call me at any time. He told me he chose to become a concierge doctor because he hated working with insurance companies, wanted more time with patients and with his own family. He takes Fridays off unless it's an emergency and works shorter office hours so he can take his kids to school and coaches baseball and soccer.

Sorry this doesn't directly answer the OP's question, but I wanted to give the perspective of someone actually using a concierge doctor here in the US.
posted by HeyAllie at 9:36 AM on April 20, 2011 [2 favorites]



Concierge physicians exist to provide private care. Not necessarily better care. Rich people hire them, not because they're necessarily worried about how well or quickly they'll be treated at the local hospital, but because they don't want to expose their private lives to public scrutiny any more than they have to. I mean, if you or I get in a car accident, showing up in the local emergency room is not news. But if a famous actor or politician does, it can make the front page. And this is to say nothing about incidents involving drugs, alcohol, or other potentially embarrassing/damaging activities. Again, us plebes can just roll in to the local ED without a second thought, but someone with a prominent public image is going to think twice about that.


I don't understand, how is a "private" physician's responsibility to confidentiality any greater than an "ordinary" physician? They're all bound by the same code of ethics and professionalism. And if a famous person shows up in the ER, (and as far as I know there are no "private" ERs), no doctor in the world is going to be able to prevent other people involved in the patient's care from leaking information if they're so inclined.
posted by greatgefilte at 4:27 PM on April 20, 2011


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