So, why go private?
I would like to firstly say I am a major advocate of the NHS, the way it works & the service it provides. I’m not saying it’s perfect & it definitely has its issues. I’ve worked in a few different countries around the world & I can honestly say that the NHS provides a superb, free at the point of access service for patients, no matter what their financial or social background. For the money we put into it, it is one of the most cost effective services in the world – FACT!
Private medicine provides people who have medical insurance (if you’re paying for it you may as well make use of it), or have the ability to self fund, with the option of seeing their choice of specialist within days (as opposed to normally waiting weeks/months on the NHS) in a potentially more pleasant & less rushed environment. You will have more time to discuss with the specialist your concerns, potential investigations & have quicker feedback on any results.
The benefits of going private over using the NHS
Privately, you are seeing a similar specialist to that you would have seen on the NHS, who should give you the same advice & arrange the same investigations that would have been done on the NHS. The patient has more control on the timing & location of appointments & there is overall speed factor of timing of initial consultation, getting investigations done & feedback of results. There is occasionally the advantage of getting treatments or investigations which are not available on the NHS but can be done privately.
To give you an example, if you are suffering with palpitations or worrying heart beats, an initial consultation with a cardiologist, subsequent tests such as an Echocardiogram, Holter Monitor (24 hour heart monitor) & then follow up appointment, will take a minimum 3 months but more realistically 6 months on the NHS. If you followed the same pathway & went privately, you can probably complete the whole process within a few weeks.