Groupon discounts for chiropractors

Should you use a chiropractor offering a Groupon discount?

If you had to pay privately for all of your healthcare, would you choose to be seen by the heart surgeon who offers a discount rate of 70% off normal prices?

My hunch is, that with something so vital, most of us would stump up the extra cash and choose one of the other surgeons in the area, perhaps the one who had been practicing for 25 years and had fixed John from down the road.

The General Medical Council has recently issued new guidance for doctors involved in cosmetic procedures. Part of this guidance relates to the way that clinics promote themselves and their services after criticism that special offers are not helpful to patients in deciding what treatment best meets their needs.

Another stipulation is that doctors must not let their financial interests interfere with the recommendations they make to patients.

The above is very relevant to this column because it should help inform your choice when the time arises that you need to see a chiropractor.

If it is your first visit to a chiropractor, you may be tempted just to dip your toe in and see if it is for you. Going for the cheapest around seems like a good way to do this without shelling out a fortune.

But bear in mind that the practitioner you see cannot sustain their clinic on £14 per hour. A conflict of interest arises where it may be in the commercial interest of that clinician to suggest you have more appointments than strictly necessary.

The General Chiropractic Council have yet to follow in the footsteps of the General Medical Council in outlawing promotional offers, but one gets the feeling that it can’t be far away.

The risk of choosing a discount surgeon is that their reputation is not sufficient to support their practice, always ask yourself the question why. Perhaps not enough patients survive to spread the word…

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