Private health insurance is a form of medical coverage that provides supplemental health care for individual policyholders. United Kingdom residents have access to free healthcare through the National Health Service, a system that draws in the majority of its funding from the general public in the shape of national insurance contributions. National insurance is a mandatory payment deducted from gross income or purchased in the form of a stamp by self-employed persons. The system means that private health insurance is an option instead of a necessity.
Unfortunately, the aims and principles of the National Health Service are frequently compromised by extensive waiting lists for treatment, unavailability of vital medical equipment and poor staffing levels in specific locations. In some areas, patients may have to wait up to 18 weeks for surgical treatment and this can have a detrimental impact on their personal health and wellness. For complete peace of mind, it is always advisable to consider private health insurance because of the numerous benefits a policy can provide.
Although private health insurance customers retain the right to National Health Service treatment, a faster service can be assured if a policy claim is made. This can be vitally important if a diagnosis demands an immediate remedy. Private hospitals, wards and clinics are less overstretched than National Health Service alternatives and this allows patients to register for treatment faster, and at a time and date that suits their personal lifestyles.
Private health insurance policyholders have a superior choice of treatment locations. When coverage is purchased, customers are able to select potential treatment sites from an extensive list of private clinics and hospitals. The National Health Service also has a number of private wards available and these can be used in addition to private locations. National Health Service patients can only receive treatment at hospitals that specialise in their respective illnesses. Find out more at Private Health Insurance in the UK.
Quality of care
The overall quality of care in private clinics and hospitals is usually superior to alternative treatment at National Health Service facilities. Patients with private health insurance can enjoy the benefit of private rooms with improved levels of comfort, and most venues have en-suite facilities and satellite television available. Treatment is usually administered under the guidance of a single consultant whereas National Health Service patients are frequently overseen by more than one member of staff.
Levels of Hygiene
Staffing levels are often superior at private hospitals and clinics, and this means that time is always available to maintain essential hygiene levels. Many National Health Service patients develop further health problems because of superbugs such as MRSA, but private health insurance customers enjoy the benefit of wards and rooms that are sanitised more frequently to restrict the development and growth of harmful bacteria.
Private health insurance provides preferential aftercare to assist in the convalescence period. Because resources are less strained, patients are able to remain in care for longer and this can be a vitally important factor in reaching a full and final recovery. National Health Service patients are often sent home within hours of surgical treatment, and this increases the risk of further problems and infections. Private health insurance customers also enjoy the benefits of staged physiotherapy sessions, counselling and superior long-term aftercare.