With Change comes Opportunity…


Consider the following statement from the OFT in April 2012 after deciding to refer the Private Healthcare (PH) Industry to the Competition Commission.

“Barriers to entry – we consider that a number of features of the PH market combine to create significant barriers to entry. For example, some larger PH providers (Hospitals/Clinics) can impose price rises or set other conditions should a PMI provider recognise a new entrant on its network. There also appears to be direct and indirect incentives given by PH providers to consultants, which could raise those barriers further”.

The above statement highlights one of the three main shortcomings in this market describing barriers preventing entry to the market for certain groups. Although this statement specifically relates to Hospital Providers and Insurers, implicit in this is the exclusion of other groups such as suppliers and even consultants based on preferences or other agreements the PH provider may have in place.

This behaviour is not in the best interests of the customers; it limits choice, drives up prices unnecessarily and stifles innovation.

At Azimuth we believe that the playing field can be levelled and by being at the forefront of this project and offering solutions that redress the balance of power in the market place we can add value to Insurers and to Suppliers trying to access new markets. Some of the areas where we believe we can add value to your organisation:

  • Insurers wishing to target specific market segments in Scotland
  • Insurers wishing to develop local product offerings in the Scottish market
  • Improving suppliers local presence
  • Management of new product or service introductions
  • Relationship management with consultant groups

The true cost of doing business in this market place can often be very difficult to understand, but at Azimuth with our unique insight into the local healthcare market we believe that we can help insurers understand if they are getting value for money. Also many times additional costs are levied on procedures as the structure of agreements are based on an “item of service” agreement rather than a contracted price per treatment, how can these be mitigated? What is the “warranty” on a medical or surgical service, when is it reasonable to ask for issues to be corrected at no cost?

Again there are many open questions for insurers in this market place and opportunities to get better control over the business and optimise your costs.

Another consideration that will need to be addressed going forward is the engagement with consultant groups as they begin to proliferate not only in Scotland but across the UK. This represents a real opportunity for insurers to optimise their costs and change the power base in the market as with this model the consultants & insurers in partnership will have the choice of which facility they would like to offer their patients. This in turn will allow this new partnership to negotiate different terms with the hospital providers.


For many new suppliers it is often difficult to establish a presence in a new market for several reasons such as:

  • Being unfamiliar with the local consultant base
  • Setting up trials with local clinics / hospitals
  • Local representation and commercial management
  • Local marketing of events to consultants & GPs
  • Local logistics / stock management solutions

At Azimuth we can offer solutions to all of the above issues and we can be a local solutions provider to help get a new supplier established and to manage their activity as it develops.

One of the key items for many suppliers trying to break into a new market is access to NHS consultants and the establishment of clinical trials, with the collection and analysis of the data. Again this is something we can help facilitate

If you have an issue regarding any of the above or need some advice or support in the Scottish market please contact us.