Everyone is susceptible to different illnesses at any time. No one really knows when a serious sickness will strike. Thus, it is important to be secured with reliable health insurance to meet the expensive medical expenses. Having access to private health services when needed is a great privilege—it enables you to obtain immediate treatment without having to wait for agonizing periods of time. Truthfully, opting for a publicly funded national healthcare system has its perks. However, it might be a rocky path for your well-being especially after issues with NHS’s policies and programs began surfacing. Recently, NHS saw an increase in the number of people waiting to start treatment. Some patients also claim to wait over 100 days to be discharged even when they are medically fit to leave.
Private healthcare is one way to supplement what has already been made available by National Health Service (NHS). There are ranges of private medical insurance that are affordable and will keep you from encountering some of the areas where the public healthcare system is lacking, like:
- No waiting period
One of the best advantages of having access to private medical treatment is faster appointments. With private medical insurance, you have better chances of choosing a doctor of your preference. Usually, if a patient is admitted to a public hospital, the authorized staff is in charge of assigning a doctor to the patient. Otherwise, there have been cases wherein patients employing NHS’ services are put on a waiting list. The maximum waiting period extends up to 18 weeks upon referral of the treatment.
- Get private assistance
Public healthcare insurances are constantly met with long lines of fellow patients in need of assistance, so expect hours of waiting in public hospital wards before your concern is entertained. Due to patients usually outnumbering the available staff, even cleanliness and orderliness become an issue of maintenance. Private hospitals and clinics, on the other hand, offer more personal assistance. Every minute of your appointment will be used adequately to ensure your concerns are efficiently dealt with. Aside from a private room, there are comfortable waiting rooms, refreshments, and hardly a shortage of staff available at your service. Visiting hours is also flexible.
- Have access to trusted specialists and outstanding medical facilities
New drugs and treatments have to be approved by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) or the Scottish Medicines Consortium (SMC) before they can be used. NICE decides which drugs and treatments are available on the NHS in England and Wales. This means that some drugs and treatments made available in certain parts of the country may not yet be available in the NHS. For instance, the distribution of the breast cancer medication Everolimus, which cost around £36,000 per year, was rejected by NICE in March 2013.
At the end of the day, if you prefer not to wait for NHS treatment, would rather stay in a private room or want to be covered for drugs and treatment that take time before it is made available through the NHS, obtaining private medical insurance is more of a personal choice. Lastly, remember that even after you’ve obtained your private medical insurance, your right to use the NHS remains available for use at your convenience.