"Wherever practical, doctors should provide information to their patients about fees for any proposed treatment and should be prepared to discuss their charges before providing their services," the PHIO states.
For major treatments in private hospitals this information should preferably be provided in writing, with the PHIO saying that if this information isn't given, then it is your right to ask for it before you agree to a proposed treatment or receive the service.
Some questions suggested by the PHIO which you can ask your doctor include:
– Will I incur personal out-of-pocket costs, and if so, how much will I be expected to pay?
– How will I be billed and when do I have to pay?
– Who are the doctors involved in my treatment and how can I get an estimate of their fees?
– Will I be provided with a written estimate of costs I'll have to pay so I can consider this when agreeing to the treatment?
You can find out more information about doctors fees and private health cover by reading the PHIO's ten golden rules of private health insurance or their doctor's bills brochure.