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Looking after your health is extremely important, and choosing the right medical provider is vital when it comes to receiving the appropriate and proper care that you need. Finding a private healthcare provider can seem like a daunting task, however, our guide to choosing the right provider is sure to give you some clarity. Keep reading to find out more about private health appointments and how they can benefit you.
Here in the UK, private doctors will deliver health care that you pay for yourself. This can be done directly to the healthcare provider and is often done through private medical insurance. Private health consultations are carried out in private practices, independent hospitals and clinics, which are not part of the NHS. They can typically be run by charities or other non-profit organisations as opposed to commercial companies or the government.
In the UK, the NHS (National Health Service) is a free healthcare system provided by the UK government. It’s been in place since 1948 and has been helping people receive care and treatment for several years now.
The NHS is publicly funded through taxes and means that any UK resident can go and receive public healthcare. From doctors appointments and emergency care all the way through to prescriptions, the NHS is a free service for people to use.
During COVID-19, the NHS was put under a great deal of pressure while dealing with the influx of patients that had been impacted by Coronavirus. There was a higher demand for healthcare during this time and a reduction in other industries, placing a huge strain on NHS employees and resources.
During and following the pandemic, the NHS still suffers from fundamental issues such as:
Due to a combination of these problems, the NHS has been under stress and things like waiting times and service have decreased in quality. While it is still relatively reliable, some people decide to opt for private healthcare, as there are individual requirements that the NHS may fail to meet.
Choosing private healthcare can hold a range of benefits for your health and in terms of convenience:
Waiting times with public healthcare can often be quite long, which is a disadvantage of using the NHS. If you have an emergency or need to be seen by a doctor sooner rather than later, private healthcare definitely has the advantage. Typically, every stage of your treatment should be faster. From diagnosis all the way through to aftercare, private health appointments can help you return to normality a lot sooner.
Depending on the condition of your health, or what you are going through, you may require niche medications. The NHS may not pay for these, as it is publicly funded, so patients might need to turn to private healthcare to access the necessary medications.
The types of treatments you have access to with private healthcare can be laid out by your provider and organised in your healthcare plan.
The quality of care received in private GP consultations can be more personal than the service delivered by the NHS. When you choose private healthcare, you get a more individual level of care, get to see the same doctor consistently and receive faster tests, treatment and results. This is a big factor for those choosing private healthcare.
When you opt for private healthcare, you have more freedom to choose your hospital and doctor location as well as the type of treatment that you require. With more freedom to choose, you are able to pick locations that are more convenient for you and tailor your healthcare to suit you the best.
So, if you have decided to go with private care, finding the right private clinic for you is the next task. Everyone is different and choosing the right provider for you may depend on your existing conditions and what you need out of your healthcare. Some people require faster emergency care and others may need access to specific medications. These are a few standard things to look out for when it comes to choosing your private healthcare practice.
A majority of healthcare practices will have profiles of their staff online, so you can check out their experience and qualifications here. You can look into their experience to gain some understanding of their service and the quality of their care. Additionally, if you are looking for a specialist of some kind, this is a good way to determine if you will be getting the appropriate healthcare.
As mentioned previously, a big factor for people switching to private healthcare is the quality of care. If consistency is important to you, and quick access to emergency care or appointments, then private healthcare can definitely facilitate this.
When you are choosing your provider, take time to work out which features you are looking for to help you with your choice.
It’s important to spend some time doing your research, looking at reviews and following friend or family recommendations for good practices to think about. You want to choose a practice that you can rely on and that is worth the money you are spending. There’s also no harm in contacting different practices or visiting them to find out more about the plans and services they can offer you.
In one word, yes. If you decide to pay for private healthcare, you will still have access to the NHS and its services. It will still be free of charge and your NHS care should not interfere with your private healthcare.
It is important to note that if you are suffering from a certain ongoing condition or illness, you should only use one healthcare service for your treatment, rather than using both. You should not mix different parts of the same treatment between the NHS and private healthcare.
There is lots of information online that can help you to find the right healthcare provider for you, and narrow down your choices. Doing a good amount of research into different plans, services and benefits for different practices is a good place to start. This will help you to narrow down your choices and pick a practice that you feel sure about.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and find out all the details so you are fully informed before you make any decisions. You may want to figure out:
And any other details you want to iron out. Make sure you feel informed and comfortable before you go ahead and commit to a private healthcare organisation.
We understand that choosing private healthcare can be daunting and we want to make your process as seamless and stress free as possible. Here at Duality Health, we offer a range of GP services, Health Screening, Contraception & Sexual Health services as well as Minor Surgeries. No matter what kind of care you are looking for, we are sure to have something for you.
Our team of highly qualified and trained professionals are committed to providing you with the care you deserve, exactly when you need it. If you are interested in any of the services we offer, or want to enquire about what we do, feel free to give us a call on 028 3083 3666 or come and visit us for a chat.