The majority of people would agree that the NHS is fantastic – an institution to be truly proud of – so why are so many people getting private health insurance and choosing a private hospital?
The answer is: a lot of reasons! Some people get private healthcare as a deal through their work and some are even lucky enough to have their company cover the cost. It’s a real benefit and one that should be treasured! However, whilst the quality of care provided by the NHS is great, even if you end up having to pay yourself, there are many amazing benefits to having access to a private hospital.
First thing’s first – what does private health insurance include?
- Inpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Exclusive drugs
- Extra cover
- Accommodation in a hospital and nursing care
Before we delve into the why, you may be considering using a private hospital due to word of mouth. You only have to look at statistics based on opinions of patients to see the private hospitals that fare the best. But one of them comes close to 100% recommended in every question asked by their survey group. Do you want to learn more about London’s Best Private Hospital?
Whilst the list is lengthy, here are five amazing benefits to using a private hospital.
Less waiting around
It just makes sense that paying a premium would get you seen quicker. When it comes to the NHS, whilst they treat the vast majority of people within their maximum waiting time, which is 18 weeks, a portion go over this.
On top of this, less urgent operations (such as hernia repair, cataract removal or hip and knee surgery), now don’t follow the same 18 week target. It is worth noting that on the NHS there are more stringent waiting times in the case of someone with cancer.
Private hospital tests
You’ll find that, with private healthcare, if you need to be seen for tests, you won’t be waiting as long as with the NHS. If you have ever needed access to physiotherapy before, you’ll know that on the NHS, the waits can be monumental. These will be a thing of the past!
Speed of tests you get referred to have, such as CT scans or MRIs, depend completely on the urgency. Whilst this is completely understandable, the anxiety associated with waiting for these kind of tests, especially if the potential diagnosis is on the more serious side, is one of the major downsides.
Sometimes waiting for the test can be more unbearable than waiting for the results. Wait times do vary by region. Why not take out the frustration of waiting and jump the queue?
Quicker diagnosis and faster treatment
You’ll likely find that the results from any tests come back quicker compared to if they were done via the NHS. Again, this reduces the time you are waiting anxiously for the results of any tests. If there is any follow up action needed, you’ll likely be seen quicker too.
More personalised care
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of needing an operation, you will have more flexibility around the procedure. As an example, with the NHS, you’ll likely be given an operation date and be expected to work around this. If you did need to reschedule, you’d probably then need to wait even longer, unless there is a case of a cancellation. Treatment from private hospitals tends to work more around you rather than the other way around.
If you had one in mind, you may even be able to choose a specific hospital or surgeon to perform your operation.
You can also reap the benefits of having a private room. This sometimes means you can have a family member sitting in with you a lot of the time rather than having the limitation of space when staying on an NHS ward. The restrictions around visiting times is a lot more lenient.
The privacy of their own room for some people aids their recovery as they feel more comfortable and relaxed – and more able to sleep when needed. To reduce the cost of private healthcare, you can opt to share a room with one or more people in a lot of cases, but there won’t typically be more than four people in a room, so this is still better than being on a crowded ward.
More upscale amenities
In your private room, you will have a nurse call system, radio, telephone, direct dial telephone and free Wi-Fi.
Things like towels and bed linen will generally be of a better quality compared to that of an NHS hospital, and you may find you get offered a laundry service. Your bed is likely to be comfier. The coffee machines will be of a higher standard and the television will likely be a smart TV.
On to one of the most important areas. Most people on this planet know that hospital food is not the best. However, in a private hospital, the money spent on ingredients and the chefs is higher, and therefore most of the time the food is of a higher quality.
The menu on offer tends to be broader, and there will be more flexibility if you have any dietary requirements. Good food can also make a huge difference to the speed of your recovery!
The cleanliness of any hospital is paramount, but the standards of a private hospital are of a high specification. Cleaning staff will usually also be on hand 24 hours a day to respond to any cleaning needs.
You may have this included in your package, but it’s likely you can request newspapers and magazines to ensure you don’t miss out on any of your favourite publications whilst you’re in hospital.
Whilst this statement is by no means discrediting what the NHS has on offer, in general, the equipment is better and more regularly updated, and therefore newer. This is true of the medical equipment, from CT and MRI scan machines to wheelchairs.