The National Health Service was originally started in 1948 to give the British public universal, high quality healthcare. Nearly 60 years later, despite being the fifth biggest employer in the world, the NHS is facing the greatest pressures it has ever had to face. A difficult combination of government budget cuts and an increase in the average UK life expectancy has thrown the service into disarray over the last decade. This extra pressure on staff has resulted in long waiting times, even for what one would consider important treatments and surgeries.
While the NHS undoubtedly does an astonishing job and is widely regarded as the backbone of Britain’s healthcare industry, it is becoming increasingly stretched as our population ages. Due to parts of the healthcare system becoming increasingly more difficult to access as they are under such high demand, many are looking to the private sector for medical coverage to supplement individual health needs.
Overall, patients are satisfied with the care that they receive from the NHS, however some feel as though more could be done, which is why private healthcare policies are becoming increasingly popular. For those who are unsure about whether or not this type of cover is right for them, we’ve put together a list of reasons why the NHS doesn’t have to be the only option;
1. Be seen quicker
With waiting time targets more frequently being missed by the NHS. Many people are opting to take their healthcare to the private sector. Faster appointment times can often lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment for your complaint. Having private cover will allow you to be fast-tracked and get you seen far quicker than if you were to wait for an NHS appointment.
2. Greater privacy
While many people don’t mind being on a ward with others, for some this can be the worst part of going into hospital. With private health insurance, you will have the luxury of your own room and your family and friends can visit you whenever you want. This can be a boon to those who are spending extended periods under medical supervision.
3. Lower risk of ‘superbug’ infection
It is an unfortunate fact that many NHS hospitals are struggling to cope with the increased virulence of superbugs such as C.difficile and MRSA. Private hospitals, on the other hand, have a very low infection rate in comparison.
4. Cover to suit your needs
Your personal healthcare insurance can be tailored to suit your needs, ensuring that you get exactly the right policy for you. This can be especially useful for those who may have high risk factors in certain areas due to any sports that they might play or if their profession is one that carries health risks that are above average.
5. Offers and discounts
Many policies have member benefits attached to them that will help to keep you fit and healthy. Things such as discounted gym memberships and great savings in health clubs are not uncommon additional benefits to taking out your own personal healthcare policy.
So, there you have it, five good reasons why taking out insurance for your health can be beneficial even if you are lucky enough to have access to a service as good as the NHS.