Private healthcare is an attractive option as it offers more personal care and can ease the worries of wondering when you may receive your treatment.

Delays and concerns about privacy and cleanliness of NHS care are some of the reasons why more people are turning to private health for their care.

How to get private healthcare

There are two main routes to receiving private health treatment:

Private health insurance can either be provided by your employer or it can be self-funded. You pay a premium, either yearly or monthly, which entitles you to private medical care when needed, in line with the insurance terms.

Diabetes can pose problems in terms of what is covered by the medical insurance. For more detail, read our private health insurance guide.

If you go private directly, for a particular operation or treatment, you will usually need to be referred by your current NHS GP and will need to sort out how the procedure will be funded.

Benefits of private healthcare

What do you get in private health that you wouldn’t from the NHS?

  • In most cases you’ll be seen quicker than you would be on the NHS
  • Appointments may be easier to arrange at times that better suit you
  • You will generally have better access to consultants and more time to spend with them
  • There are much fewer restrictions on visiting times at private clinics and hospitals
  • You won’t need to share a ward with other patients

Disadvantages of private health

Unless you’re covered by your employer for private medical insurance, private healthcare will come at a cost either as self-funded insurance or as a one charge for a particular treatment or procedure.

In the case of private medical insurance, you need to know what the insurance covers and how much it insures you for.

If you are paying for private treatment yourself, you’ll need to know how expensive the treatment could become.

Don’t be tempted to look only at the minimum costs only as more tests and consultations may be needed than initially budgeted for. One option is to look for fixed cost surgery schemes.

Be prepared

When you have private treatment it pays to be well prepared. You may need to have test results or x-rays with you and make sure you ask if you’re unsure about anything.

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