Read our guide to winter health conditions, and find out how Health Insurance (also known as Private Medical Insurance – PMI) can protect you and your family.
Winter is a busy time for the health care industry in this country. It’s the busiest time of the year for A and E, and for a reason: winter is a trigger for a range of illnesses affecting mind and body. But private healthcare can help to fill the gaps in the NHS. PMI’s aim is to complement, rather than replace the NHS.
According to NHS Choices, some of the conditions that tend to occur during the colder months include:
Common Winter Health Conditions
Studies have shown that heart attacks are more common in winter. This may be because colder temperatures put more strain on the heart. Providing you meet the required conditions,
you will be covered for the acute recovery phase of heart attacks by PMI. For private treatment to proceed, the heart condition must by stabilised by the NHS first.
Slips, trips and falls in icy conditions can make you more vulnerable to hurting yourself after a fall. Some of the time this sort of injury is not covered by PMI - it is treated by A and E, and there is currently no provision for A & E with PMI. However, with PMI you would still have the option of being transferred to a private ward once the condition was stabilised. Plus, if you
needed any physio or any further corrective operation, you would be covered.
Winter can intensify the symptoms of asthma, and make wheezing and attacks more likely. You will never be covered long term for asthma by PMI as it is listed as a chronic condition. However, provided you do not have asthma as a pre-existing condition on your policy, you will still be covered by PMI for the diagnosis (and occasional flare up) of the condition i.e. an asthma attack.
Many people feel the everyday aches and pains more in the winter months. Sometimes this will lead to knees and hips being replaced during the wintry season. PMI provides full cover for hip and knee replacement, from initial diagnosis and consultation, through to surgery and aftercare (including physio).
Staying Healthy During Winter
Staying healthy can be harder in the winter, when its colder outside and the nights are drawing in. It’s tempting just to pull the curtains, and make a comforting big meal for the family rather than go for a run. But there are simple steps you can take to ensure you stay healthy this winter.
You’re much more likely to get a cold in winter, so why not take a natural, great tasting medicine like milk. Milk is rich in calcium, plus protein and vitamins A and B12.
All the studies show that most human beings are at peak functioning after 8 hours sleep. Many of us have a sleep deficit of 1-2 hours. Some scientists are calling for this problem to become a national issue of health, up there with mental illness and cancer. So – “early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise”!
We’re not talking kale smoothies for every breakfast; simply a concerted effort to eat more fruit and veg during the winter months. Eating your 5 a day is important during the summer, but during the winter when your immune system may be taking a battering, it’s vital. And remember – comfort food doesn’t always have to be unhealthy!
Winter is perfect for porridge. We all know that eating breakfast is a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. If you don’t want anything heavy in the morning, try fruit or yogurt.
How can health insurance help?
Health Insurance offers rapid access to private consultants, diagnosis and treatment. It can offer a remedy for acute conditions, to get you back to that good level of health you were before you were taken ill.
Some winter ailments need to be treated by A & E. After the initial phase, with PMI you can often choose to recover and recuperate on a private ward, plus receive complementary aftercare such as physio and homeopathy. The aim is to get you fit and well again as soon as possible.
The benefits of private wards are multiple – private, en suite rooms; free TV and Wifi; and to help recover with that winter illness: freshly prepared, healthy meals. This nourishing food can do wonders for health in winter.
Health insurance is a great option if you want quick access to high quality care and want greater choice. You can also choose to cover your family under your private medical policy so you all get the protection you need.