Ian Paterson: Why have private patients not been compensated? - BBC News quote:- "While the vast majority of private operations are carried out correctly - and private patients are typically treated sooner than their NHS counterparts - the service they receive if things go wrong is not necessarily better. The key difference between the NHS and private healthcare experience is insurance. In the public sector, the NHS is liable for compensation as doctors are employees. In the private sector, the insurance burden falls on surgeons because they are operating as contractors" "However, if a surgeon's conduct is held to be criminal, there is no guarantee his or her insurance will be valid".