Should you go private for your healthcare needs?

Private healthcare has become more and more prominent in the UK over recent years, and because of increasing pressure and the difficulties it has been experiencing many people are shifting from the NHS to private medical treatment, often using private health insurance to cover the costs.

As a result, the UK’s private healthcare market has grown well into the billions, but it is understandable why people are going private for their healthcare needs.

Better wait times

When you are looking for medical advice or are seeking treatment for a specific condition, you would normally book an appointment with your NHS GP. Depending on how many other people are registered with the same GP practice, you could often be waiting two weeks or longer for an appointment which is a lengthy period of time, especially if you are coping with pain or discomfort.

Wait times will vary based on speciality and region, and even though the Government has set targets to shorten wait times, it is clear the system struggles to cope, particularly for routine procedures like hip replacements. However, the NHS does provide timely and world-class interventions for life-threatening issues such as cardiac bypasses.

With many private health insurance plans today, you are now able to access a virtual GP, and some will even give you the option to choose a private GP. This means that you could be seen quicker and get your treatment started more promptly, allowing you to access the medical treatment you need, precisely when you need it.

Your overall health is important, especially as you get older, so when you go through private healthcare for your well man checks for example, you can feel assured that you will get fast and conveniently timed appointment that will offer peace of mind that your health is on track or an early diagnosis to nip and possible problems in the bud.

Private COVID-19 testing

Getting tested for COVID-19 is extremely important for a range of different circumstances. In accordance with current laws, you might need a private PCR test, such as if you are wanting to travel abroad, return to the workplace, or you need to attend a specific event. These tests are key to reducing the spread of the virus and help life get back to normal. You might also want to get a test for your own peace of mind if you are worried about your health or the health of those around you.

Comfort in private healthcare

The quality of the medical treatment itself should be the same whether you go through the NHS or a private clinic, however private healthcare facilities can often feel more comfortable and modern. While undergoing private treatment you will likely encounter stylish and contemporary facilities and services which can make you feel more relaxed during treatments. This is particularly relevant to dentist and orthodontic surgeries. As you now have to pay for check-ups and treatments through the NHS anyway, many people are opting for private clinics for a quicker service and a stress-free process.

Choice of hospital, treatment, and location

Private healthcare has the advantage of giving you the choice of clinic and treatment at a time and location that suits you. In private care, you are typically seen within a week or so of your GP requesting a referral. When you go through the NHS however, you will have a limited choice and the wait lists for seeing a specialist can be extremely long. So, if you are considering whether to go through the NHS or a private facility for your treatment and flexibility is a high priority, you should consider the normal waiting times and choices of hospitals that will best fit your needs. If you’re looking for an orthodontist in Glasgow for instance, you will find impressive value for money for a high standard experience and amazing results for your teeth when you choose private healthcare.

The cost of private treatment and drugs

Due to the cost of some medicines that are more niche, the NHS might not pay for them. Therefore, patients would need to refer to private healthcare to be able to access the drugs they need.

To get private healthcare, you can either do it as a self-pay patient, so you finance your treatment from your own pocket or use a private medical insurance plan that covers your private care. Whilst the first option can become quite expensive very quickly, getting a health insurance plan could be more affordable than you think.

Depending on your own personal needs and situation, private healthcare could be the best choice for you. There are many options that make going private considerably more affordable than what you would assume it to be, and it is worth looking into if you need an appointment quickly.