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Is Private Healthcare Right For You?

Moneymagpie Team 14th Jun 2023 No Comments

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The NHS has seen its fair share of headlines in recent years, having spearheaded a national medical response to the coronavirus pandemic while buckling under the weight of demand. Recently, healthcare professionals have been striking for better pay and conditions, having seen funding stagnate and salaries regress over the last 12 years of Conservative government. Amidst all of this, many in the UK have felt it prudent to pivot to private healthcare, for swifter service and better outcomes. Is this the right thing to do?

The NHS in 2023

The major reason for which private healthcare has re-entered public discussion relates to the state of the NHS in the modern day. The NHS is, inarguably, a national institution with an extremely high level of public support. It has touched the lives of practically every citizen and represents the best of the UK’s social care triumphs. However, it is not immune from criticism, and its current form is causing difficulties for a great many people in or awaiting care.

The NHS, as it currently stands, is in dire need of reform. Long waiting lists and stretched facility staff have resulted in decreasing quality of care, leading patients to fear the increased risk of potential medical negligence. Without immediate funding or restructuring, these issues are projected to continue – and could even be exacerbated by the predicted heatwaves this summer.

Pivoting to Private

With the NHS’ plight plain to see, and with many people on a months-long waiting list for elective procedures, an argument is there to be made for switching to private healthcare. Going to a private institution for treatment allows much quicker access to said treatment, circumventing the waiting list and getting immediate results. Not only this, but the pace of private care could see better outcomes with regard to potential negligence.

Private healthcare also enables people to get treatments that might not otherwise be available via a GP. Cosmetic procedures, or niggling health problems such as lipoma, can be addressed in the manner of the patient’s choosing, improving quality of life considerably.

The Downsides of Private Healthcare

But private healthcare is no panacea, and there are some key issues with the model that should be considered before you switch. For one, the cost of private healthcare, or private health insurance, can be astronomical even for lightweight procedures. Insurance programmes are also selective, so if you have a pre-existing condition you might struggle to be accepted.

It is also important to mention here that private healthcare staff are not distinct from NHS staff. In many cases, it is the same doctors and the same facilities providing both private and NHS care; the money does not buy a higher quality of equipment or service, but buys priority treatment and care. Going private can in fact add to the strain NHS facilities are facing, hastening its breakdown and making its transition to a private model near-inevitable.

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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