The National Health Service in the UK provides adequate care for the majority of people in our nation. However, there are several reasons that a growing number of people, seven million and counting, are choosing private medical insurance as a supplement to the NHS. Here are the top benefits of private medical insurance in the UK.
There is very little choice for many people who rely on the NHS for medical care. Patients are assigned to a specific GP and hospital regardless of whether these facilities meet their needs. Private insurance allows patients to have a wider range of choices regarding when and where they receive health care. If you wish to consult a different specialist who has more knowledge of your health issues, this will likely be covered by private medical insurance.
2. Reduced Waiting
Waiting lists are on the rise in the UK, with over a million people currently waiting for care. Some of these people are waiting for specialist appointments and treatments that their lives depend on, such as cancer treatments. People who have private medical insurance can get care where it is soonest available and thus reduce or even eliminate wait times.
3. Higher Standards of Care
While NHS facilities are usually adequate, private ones are cleaner and better appointed. People with private medical insurance who receive treatment in private clinics and hospitals enjoy benefits such as private rooms, en suite bathrooms, less restricted visitation, and satellite television. In addition, private clinics and hospitals are usually cleaner, which lowers the risk of infection and other complications. With MRSA on the rise in NHS facilities, cleanliness is an important consideration.
4. Access to the Best and Newest Procedures
It often takes time for new and innovative treatments and testing methods to be approved and incorporated into NHS facilities. There is then a sizable waiting list to gain access. However, private facilities are fast to adopt these advances and offer them to privately insured patients. If your NHS-approved treatment plan is not sufficient, it may be time to consider whether you would receive a different and more effective plan with private medical insurance.
5. More Personalized Care
It is easy to feel like a number and not a person with the NHS. However, private medical insurance companies are determined to keep your business and thus offer a more personalized and customer-friendly experience. You will likely have more time to talk to your physicians, less time spent in waiting rooms, and even a specialist team assigned to your case if you develop challenging medical conditions. Sometimes you really do get what you pay for.
6. Access to NHS Private Patient Units
While care in NHS facilities varies widely, the private patient units are usually top notch. Patients in these units receive private rooms, a higher standard of care, and faster access to treatments and specialists. People who have private medical insurance are not limited to private clinics and hospitals, but rather are given preferred status even in Government-funded facilities.
7. Peace of Mind
While NHS care is effective for many people, there are notable examples when it has failed. This creates the worry for many people, that they may fall through the cracks in their own moment of need. However, there is no need to live with this uncertainty. Private medical insurance will provide you with the peace of mind that comes with knowing you will always get the care you need, when you need it, in a comfortable and personalized setting.
In many ways, private medical insurance is the best of both worlds for people who choose this option. People who have private medical insurance can still access NHS facilities and services. However, most people with private medical insurance enjoy the expanded range of options and superior standards of care that come with a private policy.