When you need to visit a hospital, most private health insurance policies let you choose which hospital you want to go to. This may be based on your experience with other hospitals, where you live, or your doctor’s recommendation. Private hospitals can offer shorter wait times for planned surgery, private rooms and a more personalised approach to your care.
In most cases seeing a consultant privately will not affect your place on the NHS waiting list. You can check the NHS website to see how long you have to wait for your first appointment with a specialist.
Private practices often have lower overhead costs than large healthcare systems, and can pass these savings on to their patients. They can also foster a sense of community with their patients in ways that hospitals cannot.
Doctors working in private practice may also have the ability to offer payment plan options, or use certain software that can improve their workflow. They are not bound by hospital rules or guidelines and have full control over their work.
There are a number of reasons people choose to pay for private healthcare. In some cases, such as for a joint operation, this can be because it will allow them to get back to work more quickly and reduce pain or discomfort and therefore improve their quality of life.
NHS hospitals can be very good, but they are limited in their facilities by budgetary constraints. Private hospitals, on the other hand, can offer patients a better experience with more personalised attention and better facilities.