NIB's health professional ratings website attracts 40,000 patients

Listed health insurer NIB says almost 40,000 people have used its controversial website that rates and compares health professionals such as dentists, optometrists and chiropractors. The site, called Whitecoat, was launched several weeks ago after previous plans were shouted down by industry bodies. Critics included the powerful Australian Medical Association - although the site does not cover general practitioners and medical specialists - and the Australian Dental Association.

Listed health insurer NIB says almost 40,000 people have used its controversial website that rates and compares health professionals such as dentists, optometrists and chiropractors. The site, called Whitecoat, was launched several weeks ago after previous plans were shouted down by industry bodies. Critics included the powerful Australian Medical Association - although the site does not cover general practitioners and medical specialists - and the Australian Dental Association.

The latter argued that it would be difficult for patients to appreciate "reasonable reasons for differences in costs".

But NIB says almost half of the searches have been for dentists, followed by physiotherapists and chiropractors.

The Whitecoat website provides a directory of more than 30,000 healthcare providers, including ratings of them and comparative cost data.

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