With Brexit well underway and the political climate constantly under fire in the UK, the NHS is a term that is regularly gracing the headlines; whether it’s shining a harsh light on active practices that could be better supported, or trying to induce voter fear on the future of the NHS. This uncertain future of the UK’s public healthcare concerns a large amount of the population, with several petitions set up previously in an effort to obtain better support for the widely delivered medical service and plenty of online campaigns including the #NHSMillion.
Some of the biggest issues the NHS currently faces include staff shortages and funding shortfalls which have led to longer emergency room waiting times, high staff turnover and longer waits for patient results and consultations. This has also led to a decrease in the quality of care received by many patients, with 93 per cent of GPs referring to their workload as a major factor.
Where does private healthcare come into play?
Private healthcare, although not common in the UK, can offer a huge relief to the NHS and no longer needs to be restricted behind expensive monthly costs, with private medical insurance available from as low as £26 a month for a young, single person’s policy. Families and couples can make savings with dedicated joint, family and child private healthcare plans with additional policy inclusions such as dental care and physiotherapies, depending on personal requirements.
The benefits to why you should consider private healthcare can be found in this guide and should be carefully considered in deciding whether medical insurance is right for your lifestyle.
As more individuals explore options for private healthcare and medical insurance that provides access to private hospitals and clinics, the strain felt by the NHS is reduced. This allows GPs and supportive care teams to gain more time back, providing extra resources for patient focus and potentially speeding up the process of requesting and receiving testing and test results.
Strengthening the NHS for all
Additionally, this can also free up more time for resources to be spent on better educating the population on when they should be requesting emergency services. Currently, numbers as high as 1 in 10 Accident and Emergency visits, up to a total of 17 million, were considered wasted time in 2017 and would have received better, faster advice by meeting with their GP or local pharmacist. Not only do these non-emergency visits use up that all-important time of emergency nurses and doctors, but many of these visits were for fast-circulating illnesses such as the flu which should be kept out of hospitals to prevent influenza outbreaks amongst the sick.
With less strain on NHS resources, investments can be made in more efficient ways. For example, the NHS currently pays out £181 million a year on the housing solutions for individuals suffering from serious mental health problems. Many of the patients in these centres are located hundreds of miles from home and lack the necessary support by friends and family that can assist in their recovery. This can also apply to specialist treatments or treatments only available outside of the UK, where the NHS covers not only the treatment cost but usually the cost of travel and accommodation for the patient and a family member. A more efficient use of funds would be to utilise private clinics available in the UK, or by funding these types of treatments within the country and making them available to a broader patient market.
While it’s easy to say why the NHS would be better off with more individuals seeking private healthcare, it’s more difficult to get individuals to make the choice. If you have been considering seeking private healthcare, don’t forget that it can bring you plenty of benefits; from improved appointment procedures, reduced waiting times, and your choice of private hospital when you need to undergo treatment — in addition to helping save the wonderful NHS!