Until universal public healthcare is available across the world, the availability, the cost and the effectiveness of private healthcare will always be under debate. For some people, it’s not a question and they build private healthcare insurance into their monthly outgoings as standard whereas in places where public healthcare is more readily available, such as the UK, the debate over private healthcare and it’s affordability is held daily.
Choosing to invest in private healthcare is a personal one. The quality offered by public healthcare is normally fantastic however due to the high demand, waiting times and turnaround for receiving test results can cause frustration amongst patients. High demands also cause an increased strain on healthcare staff, resulting in less time to spend reassuring their patients and in some areas, much longer working hours to handle the demand.
What Benefits Does Private Healthcare Offer?
Aside from fewer demands on services that allow patients more time to spend with their healthcare teams or specialists, private healthcare provides patients greater control over their healthcare options. Instead of having to attend the nearest hospital or center, patients can choose where they would prefer to receive treatment and in some cases, state the when as well.
One of the most sought after benefits of private healthcare is access to newer treatments and drugs, such as proton beam therapy for cancer treatment. These treatments might be too new to be made available on public healthcare services or are not yet cost-effective enough when compared to readily available treatments already being provided.
Furthermore, private hospitals often have a greater source of private funding and can provide improved facilities. For example, rather than multi-bed wards, patients can expect comfortable, spacious private rooms and enable normally shared waiting spaces to become quieter, private consultant rooms that help to make patients more at ease during their visit.
For many patients, completing a prescribed drug course or receiving surgery may not be the finishing point of their treatment and many require additional supportive therapies alongside or after their treatment plan has finished. The waiting time for these therapies, especially physiotherapy and non-urgent therapies, can be extensive and negatively affect a patient’s quality of life. Private healthcare reduces these wait times dramatically, helping patients to receive the end of treatment therapies they need faster and return to living their life to the fullest of their ability.
Is Private Healthcare Right For You?
Making a decision about private healthcare should be an informed one and while the above has provided an overview of the benefits private healthcare can offer, anyone interested in private healthcare should do thorough research into their nearby available providers, what is covered and what projected costs look like. There is no easy-to-calculate flat rate for private healthcare, although estimates are available, as each applicant is an individual with personal hobbies and lifestyle choices that can have an effect on the monthly costs incurred. They might also affect the availability of certain treatments and therapies or need to be covered with bolt-on additions to the base plan.
Many private healthcare insurers also provide discounted plans for couples and families, ensuring you can have peace of mind that your spouse or dependents are also covered. You should also look at what hospitals or private healthcare centres are covered under your plan as certain providers may be exclusive to certain properties or networks. If you have a hospital or centre in mind that you’d prefer to receive treatment in, talk to them about their supported insurance providers.
Is Private Healthcare Just for the Privileged?
While this is a hot topic in the discussion of private healthcare as it’s a voluntary outgoing in places like the UK, private healthcare has become much more affordable in recent years with reasonable, cost effective plans to suit everyone from sole policy holders to families and even corporate support. As with any bill, make sure to shop around private healthcare insurers to ensure you get the best deal for you and anyone you apply on behalf of.