British Medical Care (06:49)
More than 1,100 private doctors have practices near Harley Street in London that cater to patients who can pay. The doctors work four days a week for the state-funded National Health Service.
Harley Street (03:46)
The Harley Street Medical Precinct is located in old estate homes that are each about 8,000 square feet. A strict licensing system was established to control the number of doctors in the area. About 300 are dental surgeons, who provide costly implants to patients.
Private Medicine (05:39)
Many doctors in Harley Street are plastic surgeons. Most patients have private health insurance and do not deal with long waits that NHS clinics have. Some doctors think their patients benefit from their work in both private and public medicine.
Private Hospital (03:58)
Gall bladder patients attend Harley Street Clinic, where their private insurance companies pay for their surgeries. The patients’ insurances companies are billed for the cost instead of the state-funded system.
Problems with NHS (04:38)
Some patients turn to private doctors or hospitals after having bad experiences with public ones. Bonnie Balas sees a private oncologist in Harley Street after NHS doctors missed cancerous cells in her lymph nodes. He suggests an unproven high-dose chemotherapy method.
Cancer Treatments (08:03)
British doctor Len Price speaks at a conference on aggressive chemotherapy treatments in New York. He is struggling to get it accepted in Great Britain, which has one of the highest breast cancer death rates. Balas goes in for her high-dose chemo treatment.
Cost of Private Practice (03:48)
The total cost of operating a practice in Harley Street can be about 35,000 pounds a year. The high cost is causing many doctors to move to private hospitals. Many doctors believe the freedom of choice is worth the cost.
Information and the NHS (06:58)
Balas is responding well to her high-dose treatment. Price's treatment is unproven and difficult to find through the NHS and most only find him through referrals.
Harley Street Working Group (02:26)
The group was formed to determine the future of the area as high rents continue to drive out doctors. The doctors and real estate agents have differing opinions on allowing new practices into the area.
Credits: Modern Times: Harley Street (01:04)
Credits: Modern Times: Harley Street
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