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The Benefits of Private Healthcare
In the UK the NHS provides free healthcare to all, something which no one should take for granted. But working alongside the NHS is the private healthcare sector, which people can access through their private health insurance policy. You may ask, ‘why would I need private health insurance when I could get treated on the NHS for free?’ Actually, there are many advantages to having a policy, including the following:
Quick consultations and treatments
One of the main benefits of private health insurance is being able to choose the time of your medical appointments. Because there are no waiting lists, you can decide exactly when you want to get treated to fit around your own schedule. Rather than waiting for an appointment to become free on the NHS- which could be a few weeks away- you could even see a specialist the very next day.
Consultants of your choice
If you go through the NHS you will not have choice over who treats you. But if you have a health insurance policy you will be able to see a private consultant of your choice for the entirety of your condition. Some medical insurers may have a particular list of top consultants who you can choose from in your area.
Health insurance policies come with a list of private hospitals to choose from. Generally the more you choose to pay, the greater choice of hospital you will have. Private hospitals are equipped with top-of-the-range medical equipment and state of the art theatres. In addition, you will be able to stay in a private room rather than a ward, often with ensuite bathrooms, personal television and internet access.
New cancer drugs
When a cancer drug is awarded a license to be prescribed in the UK, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has to review it to see if it is cost-effective enough to be made available on the NHS. This approval process can take over 18 months. But many health insurance policies with full cancer cover will fund expensive drugs and treatments even if they are not approved for NHS use, as long as they are being used within license.
These are just some of the benefits of having a private medical insurance policy. However, there are always disadvantages to having insurance like this, and some people find the premiums are too high to make it an essential.
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