It is dangerous for a private insured patient to assume his/her insurance covers everything.
Very often it does not and this impacts on the consultant surgeon.
Private medical insurance may be said to be designed for short-term injuries or illness i.e. an injury that suddenly happens and in most cases treated / cured relatively quickly. For example: a broken hand can be treated relatively quickly whereas a diabetic problem may not.
Consider it this way. Private medical insurance is in place to cover elective non-urgent operations such as knee replacement. A heart attack will be treated at a NHS level. In any event if the condition was known before the policy was taken out, it will not be covered. Further, it does NOT follow however that if the injury is short term and treatable under private medical insurance cover, all parts of the treatment will be covered.
Further, the question of what is and what is not covered will depend on the type of policy held by the patient.
And basically, the higher the costs of the cover, the more items are covered regardless of a financial limit. The lower or budget type cover may set a financial limit on how much can be paid out under the policy or, for example, may exclude consultation fees.
Why is this relevant to the consultant surgeon?
For one thing a budget type policy could easily lead to shortfalls, excess or the non-payment of consultation fees. This, in turn, in order to avoid financial loss on his part, will lead to a requirement for the consultant to have such amounts collected from and paid by the patient.