The National Health Service is a remarkable institution. Since its inception in 1948, the NHS has grown into one of the largest publicly funded healthcare organisations globally and has gained international notoriety for its excellent quality of care. Despite this, the pressure placed on the NHS in recent years (not to mention the Covid-19 pandemic) has led many to move to private healthcare. Here are some of the advantages of opting for private healthcare.
1. Wait Times
One of the primary advantages of private healthcare compared to the NHS is the waiting times. Whether you are in line for a surgical procedure or simply wish to go for a check-up, you can expect to receive treatment much faster with a private organisation.
For example, if you wanted to get a full-body check-up on the NHS, you could be required to wait upwards of two weeks, depending on the number of patients your doctor’s surgery has. On the contrary, you could be booked in for a private health screening in a matter of days if you opt for a private wellness program.
While the quality of medical treatments should theoretically be the same in the NHS and private organisations, the facilities available for these can differ significantly. As a general rule, private healthcare facilities tend to be more modern and comfortable due to the increased amount of money invested.
If you receive treatment in a private facility, you can expect a more luxurious experience with hotel-like services. This can include exclusive accommodation with a dedicated bathroom, entertainment and better food. Additionally, it is more common to have unrestricted visiting hours in private healthcare, meaning your loved ones can visit you whenever they like.
With the NHS, you can often find yourself in a mixed ward with shared facilities and limited visiting hours. This can make a huge difference for many, as the stay when undergoing procedures in a private hospital can be significantly more comfortable.
Another benefit of private healthcare is that it can give you more choice. When it comes to scheduled appointments or procedures, private healthcare gives you the power to decide where and when you wish to receive treatment. This allows you greater freedom to fit appointments around your schedule and avoid waiting lists.
As a result, private healthcare can be significantly more convenient than the NHS.
4. Unavailable Treatments
Some procedures are not available on the NHS, so if you have a specific medical treatment in mind, you may have no option but to go private. Surgeries like cosmetic procedures or weight loss treatments are generally unavailable on the NHS (except for specific circumstances).
Therefore, if you are interested in such treatments, you likely have no option but to go private.
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In summary, while the NHS is a fantastic organisation that provides world-class services to millions of people, it can make more sense to opt for private treatment in some circumstances. If you can afford it, going private can reduce wait times, offer a more comfortable standard of care, be more convenient and provide treatments unavailable on the NHS.