If you’re awaiting a diagnosis or just planning ahead, you may be considering private healthcare. Before making a decision, there are lots of different elements to consider including costs and availability. This article aims to breakdown all of the most important considerations when weighing up if it’s worth going private to help you with your choice.
Why go private?
People have different reasons for opting to go for private healthcare. Sometimes certain treatments, like cosmetic procedures, may not be available via the traditional healthcare service, in which case, private could be the best option. Others use these services to gain a second opinion on a previous diagnosis to give peace of mind. Another reason could be to have health screening when there is no particular problem. This could be to check our your overall health and flag up anything that may become a problem later on down the line. If you are busy and have a particular time period where you’d like an appointment or procedure, then going private could offer more freedom to choose when and where.
Things to consider
Before you decide, there are some important factors to think about. First of all, is it affordable? Health insurance is available and there are plenty of comparison sites so that you can do some research to find out the costs. You’ll need to read the fine print and ensure you understand what the insurance policy you are interested in covers any treatments you would require. Some private hospitals are equipped to handle emergencies should anything go wrong, but check out whether your chosen hospitals have the facilities. Hopefully, you will never need to visit an intensive care unit but, you never know what could happen and you don’t want any unexpected costs. This is also something to research if you are looking for private maternity services as many of these hospitals will not have NICU capabilities. Find out what the plan would be if something were to go wrong.
Another thing to look into is where your local private hospitals are situated. In some areas, they are few and far between so ensure that you and your family have good access to a facility. Before you make any decisions, you can speak to your own GP about your thoughts and they will offer an impartial and informed opinion which will help you out.
To decide if this is an affordable path for you, you need to know the exact charges involved. During private treatment, you will usually get charged fees from each department you use such as; one fee from your surgeon, your anesthetist and one from your hospital for medicines, use of the bed and laundry.
As mentioned before, if you need emergency care after surgery, there will be extra costs involved on top of what you are originally paying. Be clear on what these charges are so you can incorporate them into your calculations.