Benefits of private medical cover
The list of reasons why a person would consider taking out private medical insurance (PMI) is a long and varied one.
While the NHS undoubtedly do a stellar job, more and more people are choosing to receive their treatment at private clinics and hospitals and while it would be impossible to list all the reasons why, this article intends to give you a snap shot of the advantages PMI offers.
One of the main reasons is the reduced time it takes to have a condition checked out by a health specialist.
Indeed, figures released by the Department of Health showed that in the year leading up to April 2011, 2,837 more people had to wait in excess of 18 weeks for their treatment from the NHS than in the 12 months previous.
And that’s despite the fact that the total number of procedures carried out by the NHS fell by more than 29,000.
Knowing that you will be seen quicker provides peace of mind because with a multitude of conditions time really is of the essence and waiting around for weeks or even months can make the problem worsen.
Another peace of mind factor given by private medical practices is their exceptional record for cleanliness. While the NHS does an incredibly tough job in ensuring that its hospitals are spic and span, many people have decided to go private because they are concerned over the problem of MRSA.
Private health care also offers patients choices that are often not available through the NHS, such as where you want to be treated and which consultant you prefer. Although it must be said that certain conditions will naturally be limited to specific specialist hospitals.
Private health care also better suits those which want some privacy while being treated. Unlike in some hospitals where it is a mixed-gender ward with several beds all lined up in one room, PMI ensures that you will get your own room, often with an ensuite bathroom and television set.
Another factor is unrestricted visiting hours. At times like these you’ll probably want to have your family and friends near and private hospitals allow them to pop in when they like, unlike state hospitals which usually only allow visits for a couple of hours in the afternoon and couple more in the evening.
Because you are paying for the care that you receive, you will also be guaranteed a more personal service. This means more time to discuss your symptoms with a doctor and less time being left waiting around or being poked and prodded by a line of medical students.
You are also likely to be seen by the same consultant throughout your stay at the clinic, meaning that you receive a better continuity of care.
Like with all types of insurance, PMI comes with differing levels so it is important to consider what is important to you and ensure that your provider as it covered. Most insurers have specialist teams which can advise you on specific conditions and the best course of action for you to take.
Figures published by the Association of British Insurers show that around 6.2 million people in the UK are covered by private medical insurance policies either in a personal or corporate (ie paid for by their employer) capacity.