A Brit’s Guide to Private Healthcare

A Brit’s Guide to Private Healthcare

Private healthcare isn’t that common in the UK and medical benefits often aren’t high up on the list of job benefits when people are shopping around f

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Private healthcare isn’t that common in the UK and medical benefits often aren’t high up on the list of job benefits when people are shopping around for a new role, however, that is due to the wide coverage of public healthcare services available to the population. Recently, public healthcare has been getting a bit of bad press, not due to failing to treat patients but simply because the services are being stretched further than ever before, with a rapidly growing population due to family expansion and immigration and sadly, plenty of consistent misuses.

This has left many the population frustrated at some point, whether it’s because they’ve been bumped down the list for a test again or they have just crossed the six-week mark of waiting for test results, or it’s taking two weeks to get an appointment with their local GP. Rather than point fingers and wrongly shuffle the blame on public healthcare services that are shockingly underfunded and understaffed, people can begin to take responsibility for their own health and explore the option of private healthcare and how it will benefit them and their family.

Why Choose Private Healthcare?

There are several benefits for why individuals and families should explore private healthcare, including;

On-Demand Appointments

Private healthcare provides patients with the opportunity to get seen much faster than when using public healthcare services. The average waiting time for a GP is 48 hours and requests for tests are sent off and returned typically within a week, which is much shorter than the 4-week average via public healthcare. Not to mention the effect on waiting times when attending A&E, in comparison, a huge 20% of patients visiting public A&E services saw a wait of 2-hours and up.

Privacy When It Matters Most

Receiving a private room when undergoing an inpatient procedure is the dream of many a patient, however, when being served under public healthcare, it’s more likely patients will be on mixed wards. Private healthcare doesn’t only give you the option of a private room, but it allows patients to choose where they receive treatment such as a private hospital, a hospital close to home or a specialist centre, such as a private cancer centre. In addition to how they would like treatment to be delivered and who they wish to be treated by.

Specialist Care

Public healthcare is funded by the tax-payers and unfortunately the pot continues to be capped, this prevents the latest in specialist drugs and speciality treatments being available to anyone receiving treatment under public healthcare. Private healthcare is much less restrictive, and patients will often have access to the latest in speciality facilities. This could be anything from receiving a new type of pain killer to being treated with innovative proton beam therapy.

Access to Supportive Therapies

When going through medical treatment, sometimes patients require more than just a quick trip and update with their consultant. Patients may be feeling the strain affecting their day to day life from the quality of their mental health to a worrying lack of appetite. Receiving additional therapies for these personal circumstances can be requested for patients with private healthcare services and the turn around between requesting these services and going to your first appointment is rapidly reduced when compared to requesting the same service through public healthcare.

How to Pay for Private Healthcare

Private healthcare isn’t just for the middle class and top 1%, health insurance has made receiving the benefits from private healthcare easier than ever before and much more widely available for anyone with an income.

There are two main methods of receiving private healthcare, self-pay patients and insured patients. Self-pay patients, as the name suggests, pay for their treatment out of pocket as and when they need it. Insured patients are covered under a specific insurer and will have agreed on terms to how much coverage they receive and if there are any plan restrictions, either for existing conditions or for treatment in certain areas in the country. On average, patients paying for private medical insurance can expect to pay on average £1500 a year for coverage, however, this will depend on personal circumstances and then additional costs for couple and family plans.

Is Private Health for You?

Choosing to invest in private health for you and your family is a personal choice and one you shouldn’t be influenced into. However, if you have found yourself frustrated with having to see a number of different doctors every time you need to be treated and the wait times have you climbing the walls, it may be time to start researching how much medical insurance will cost you and if it is the best method for your family’s health.