Is it worth paying for private healthcare?

Is it worth paying for private healthcare

Today we are going to look at the benefits of paying for private healthcare, if you can afford to.  Of course not everyone can afford private healthcare so this article is for those who can or who are considering whether it’s worth it.  Read on to learn why people pay for private healthcare and what makes it desirable for those who do.

No waiting lists

We are very lucky in this country to have the NHS.  We all contribute to it through our taxes, but being a National Health Service means most people in the UK have access to the same healthcare with the NHS no matter what they earn or their situation. It’s an amazing service to have available, however, sometimes it’s not the best service available to us when compared to private healthcare.  One example of this is when it comes to waiting times.

The NHS is often in the media because it has long waiting times for patients and important surgeries or treatments.  The coronavirus pandemic has only added to the workload of the NHS.  Because of this, more people turned to private healthcare to avoid the NHS waiting lists.  There have been numerous reports of people waiting several months for treatments and appointments with the NHS and we have experienced this ourselves.  Our son has a heart condition which is regularly checked by a paediatric cardiologist, however his upcoming check-up is seven months later than it should be!

Private healthcare can ensure you are seen quicker which might be the difference between life and death when it comes to some surgeries or treatments.  If something is serious then you may not have the time to wait several months for an appointment.  It’s very likely you will receive your appointments and treatments much quicker when choosing private healthcare.  In some cases you can even choose your own date!

Is it worth paying for private healthcare

Choose your hospital and even surgeon

If you need treatment then you may be able to choose your preferred hospital or even the surgeon you prefer.  On the NHS this is not possible, but with private healthcare in London and the UK you will have a lot more involvement in the decision process when it comes to your treatment, where it takes place and who it takes place with.  Ultimately you are paying privately for the treatment and so you have a say.

Quick access to GPs

Some private health insurance policies have the added benefit of 24/7 GP access.  This may be via a video call or telephone call, but it means you can access an online GP or telephone a doctor out of hours, or even when you are travelling abroad.

Your own luxurious private room

One of the biggest benefits of private hospitals is you will get your own luxurious room with an en-suite which ensures your comfort and privacy.  Most people don’t enjoy being on a ward with other people when in hospital, being able to hear each other’s conversations and having to walk to and from a toilet in front of others when you are not feeling your best.  It also offers you privacy when your family visits ensuring everyone feels more relaxed.

Is it worth paying for private healthcare

Specialist treatment

Sometimes the NHS won’t offer the specialist treatment you need, so you may have no choice but to go private for a treatment you require, or desire.  For example, if you have chronic back pain then you can seek a solution such as minimally invasive spine surgery (MIS) from an expert to improve your life. You can skip the waiting lists by going private, as well as opening up access to a larger range of specialists that work privately and you would not have access to on the NHS

There may also be some medicines that are not available on the NHS as they are too expensive, but you may be able to access them through a private healthcare provider. Private hospitals can also have access to better equipment and the latest medical advances or medication to provide more effective treatment.

Doctors who have time for you

I have once been in a private hospital for a cosmetic surgery and I also use a private dentist.  The biggest difference I have noticed with private healthcare is how much time the doctors have for the patients.  In both experiences I never feel rushed in my appointments, I feel able to ask questions aplenty, have things explained clearly without feeling patronised and that the doctors / healthcare professionals genuinely care about me, my happiness and my health. 

Get the scans you want

You may be able to use your private medical insurance to pay for a scan you want.  Sometimes the NHS may not allow you a scan, or there may be delays.

Final thoughts

There are lots of reasons why you might be considering private healthcare.  The benefits listed above provide a good understanding of why some people choose to invest in private healthcare insurance.  Premiums can be quite pricey, but for some people they are absolutely worth it.

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