The Advantages And Disadvantages Of Private Health Care In The UK

Access to free healthcare is one of the best things a country can offer citizens, and with the NHS scheme, most people in the UK can receive healthcare and medical support at any time. However, there is a widespread worry over this healthcare scheme’s longevity in recent times, making most people wonder if receiving private healthcare in the UK is a better alternative.

The constant worry about the NHS has heightened due to reports of underpaid doctors and nurses, over-worked staff, and understaffed departments. The news about increasing taxes to an additional £2000 for every household for 15 years is another concern for most people.

Reports from over the past couple of years have shown that most people do not believe the NHS would remain for long. Most people also believe that patients should seek private healthcare, reducing the NHS waiting list.

Although the NHS has been around for several years, the reports of equipment and staff shortage have put several patients at risk as they likely receive inadequate healthcare. A viable solution to the NHS rising problems may be an income increase for several years.

Is private healthcare a better option?

A report in 2013 showed that over 50% of people in the UK are willing to pay for private GP services as they feel this is a better alternative in the UK. However, this same report found that the cost of private healthcare is the main limiting factor for most people who want to get private healthcare.

Benefits of private healthcare in the UK

The following are a few benefits of private healthcare in the UK.

  • Faster diagnosis and treatment

A major downside of the NHS is the long-time people have to wait to get medical support after a diagnosis or referral. Although the waiting time has reduced to no longer than 18 weeks, this is still a long time for most people.

At private practices, you don’t have to wait that long to get treatment. Seeking private healthcare means that you would get a faster diagnosis and treatment. Same-day and faster appointments are available in private practices, which means faster treatment time.

  • Innovative healthcare services

Most private hospitals have access to the latest equipment, treatment procedures, and medication. This means the treatments are more effective, leading to a faster and more comfortable recovery.

  • Private facilities

At private hospitals, you have the option of private facilities such as a private room. Certain privileges often apply. For example, a loved one can stay with you at the hospital for support. Different healthcare services are available, so you can choose an affordable one, like sharing a room with one or more persons, but not more than four people in private hospital rooms; for most people, privacy and comfort aid faster recovery.

  • 24/7 availability

Although the NHS provides medical support, the support is usually limited to working hours, but private facilities have more flexible working hours. Round-the-clock medical support is available at private facilities. Staff offering 24-hour support are available, and aftercare plans to ensure patients get help at all-times.

Different packages such as gym access and 24/7 after certain procedures which aid speedy recovery are also available.

  • Personalised care

At the NHS, patients tend to see different doctors and nurses at every visit. Although this does not mean the doctors and nurses will not provide adequate care, seeing the same doctor at every consultation gives a better experience.

You can see the same doctor at private practices whenever you visit the clinic, and you can choose your preferred consultant for every appointment.

Downsides of private healthcare

Private healthcare has some disadvantage which limits some persons from seeking private medical support.

The high cost of one-off treatments and health insurance is a major downside of private healthcare. Some insurance does not cover the treatment of certain diseases, conditions, and illnesses, so you have to pay privately for them. The more cover you want from an insurance provider, the more money you have to pay. Before you get private healthcare insurance, ensure you perform thorough research on private medical insurance (PMI).

Most people in the UK can get free healthcare on the NHS, but you need to take out private insurance to cover some or most of your bills at a private hospital. You may get this insurance to subsidize the care you receive from the NHS or use it for your private medical support needs.

These options give you more freedom to choose how and where you receive treatment and who provides your treatment.

If you want to get private medical insurance, ensure you consider the type of policy that would suit you, understand the policy and what it covers. Most basic policies cover in and out-patient surgery and tests. However, few exceptions apply, like pre-existing conditions, organ transplant, childbirth, injuries from dangerous sports, etc.

You may want to consider settling for NHS healthcare services instead of paying privately to reduce your wait time. However, some specialist, expensive care may be better in certain cases.

You can also access some private healthcare services not available on the NHS. For example, sports persons can take out a PMI to cover certain surgery only available in private practices.

Regardless of your PMI and need for private healthcare, you can fall back to the NHS for services your private insurance policy does not cover but are available on the NHS.

You can visit Private GP London to access quality private healthcare or contact us on 020 70434318 to schedule an appointment with an experienced GP.

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