The UK media spent 2020 pushing the message “protect the NHS”. The real meaning of this was to not overwhelm the NHS as their capacity to treat people was limited. The reality is that the NHS is always close to capacity for many things and healthcare in the UK is rationed.
Private healthcare is different as hospital capacity and access to healthcare professionals can respond to increased demand without any compromise in care standards.
Access to drugs, treatments, and medical devices not available from the NHS
The NHS has quite strict rules about the costs of drugs and treatments. Often the best drugs are the ones that have had the highest development costs. These costs must be passed on. But, the NHS might simply say these drugs or treatments are just too expensive.
Private healthcare is different where drugs can be chosen for their performance, regardless of their cost.
For example, some stents can cost thousands of pounds each. The NHS may be unwilling to pay this, but these stents may be so effective, they may stop the need for a more expensive or evasive treatment at a later date. So in the longer term making savings for the insurance company.
A modern private hospital may have superior medical devices and equipment. This could be a better imaging device that could enable a more accurate diagnosis. A more up-to-date radiotherapy suite that can shrink tumors effectively without harming the surrounding area.
No waiting lists
Private health provision is structured in a way where consultants and hospital capacity is ready to respond to need, even in periods of high demand. Waiting lists are not necessary as a result.
Delays in diagnosis and treatment can often result in people’s medical conditions getting worse, and that can drag out recovery, or even make a difference between life and death in exceptional circumstances.
Personal service, staff, comfort, and privacy
A private hospital has a far higher number of staff per patient than an NHS hospital. Nurses are not overworked and stressed which is very common in a government-run hospital.
There is a lot more choice when it comes to food in a private hospital and the food is likely much better quality.
You can expect a quiet, well-equipped dedicated room in a private hospital with enough space for lots of your family and friends to visit when appropriate. The room gives you privacy and not the potential noise and chaos of a traditional ward.