What is private healthcare
Private healthcare or private medicine is healthcare and medicine provided by companies rather than the government. This term is more generally used in the UK and Europe and other countries which have a publicly funded health care, so as to differentiate these arrangement from systems where private healthcare is the norm.
As most Europeans have access to a public sector provision the private healthcare insurance remains a relatively small market, probably below 10% of the population.
Private healthcare can sometimes be more efficient than a public sector provision. The private operators may be more innovative in certain areas and ofcourse when you’re paying for something directly your expectations of the service tend to be higher.
The UK’s National Health Service (NHS) is designed to provide medical treatment and support to everyone, regardless of their ability to pay. But while it provides a key and fundamental service, paying for private health insurance generally does offer three advantages;
- shorter waiting times
- quicker diagnosis
- better facilities, such as a private room and maybe nicer food
- Some other reasons why you might go private;
- the treatment isn’t available on the NHS. For example, cosmetic surgery
- there’s a long NHS waiting list and you don’t want to wait
- you want to choose the date for a hospital operation
- you want to be treated by a consultant of your choice
- you want a second opinion on treatment you’ve had on the NHS
- health screening
Having said that my own personal experience of the NHS for A&E was fantastic!
There are many different providers with many different options and a big range of costs and small print. You may need help in finding the policy to suit you…