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What is the difference between NHS and Private medical treatment?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

If you have never looked in to taking out Private Health Insurance, the chances are you may be unclear as to what benefits the product can bring, and why turning to private medical treatment differs from the service which is currently available through the National Health Service. While the NHS in the UK is there to provide a high standard of care to each patient which comes through the system, there are still a number of differences between the two forms of medical care, how it is offered and the benefits of each.

The care which you are offered through either the NHS or Private institutions should not essentially be too different, as NHS staff are committed to offering each patient an outstanding level of treatment. However, the other factors surrounding the provision of Private healthcare mark it out as a significantly different experience for most Private patients who receive medical treatment within a Private establishment.

One of the most marked differences between Private and NHS healthcare is the environment in which treatment is offered. With Private establishments, the surroundings are usually newer, more spacious and run to a higher standard than the average NHS hospital. With private rooms, en-suite facilities and a more comfortable style of decor, some Private hospitals can seem a little more like a hotel than what we have come to expect from our traditional medical establishments.

Following this theme, the catering available through Private hospitals is significantly different to that offered by the NHS. While the NHS offer a range of foods for different cultures, preferences and cultural requirements, Private catering is easier to enhance, as there are fewer patients to accommodate, and budgets are much higher for the service.

The most common reason why many people choose to have their treatment within a private setting is to cut the waiting lists associated with the UK NHS. As more and more people require treatment for issues such as weight-related problems, alcohol use and smoking damage, waiting lists increase across the NHS. In Private healthcare, waiting lists are dramatically reduced, and people have rapid access to diagnostic tests and treatments that could take weeks or even months through traditional waiting lists.

The NHS is always under pressure to provide a wide range of services to a huge number of people, which drives waiting times up and also restricts access to some equipment and technologies. In contrast, Private hospitals usually have leading-edge technologies and treatments, updating their equipment frequently in line with new advances in medical research.

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Category: Health Insurance

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