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Choosing A Private Hospital, Not Just For The Super Rich

Feb 29, 2008
The choice to visit a private hospital can be attributed to a number of reasons, of course Britain has a free healthcare system but increasingly people are turning away from public hospitals to those of the private variety. People are taking this decision for all manner of reasons; some just want their own room, some prefer the en-suite facilities while others simply like the choice of menus available.

Today it is increasingly becoming the case that patients do not have to pay for their trip to the private hospital. The government are spending millions sending NHS patients to private hospitals. By outsourcing minor operations the hope is that the gargantuan waiting times in the health service can be reduced and the service improved nationally. Whether a visit to a private hospital is worthwhile needs careful consideration, if paying, the cost must be weighed.

The most striking reason increasing numbers of people are deciding to go private is to avoid the lengthy queues at public hospitals. When considering the waiting time for a hip replacement visiting a private hospital will most likely be worthwhile. Hip replacements are one of the most popular types of surgery and waiting times are huge. As a debilitating infliction it is most probably worth the cost of private medical care for the gains in quality of life you will receive.

Visiting a private hospital is markedly different from a public one. Instead of being stuck on a ward you will most probably have a room to yourself. En suite facilities are a possibility and the option for loved ones to stay with you may also be evident. A diverse a la carte menu is usually present and newspapers and internet provisions are available. All these factors improve the hospital experience and can be seen as a reason why so many people are choosing private healthcare.

Operations carried out at private hospitals vary from those in the NHS. Treatments such as fertility care are widely available to couples who may be turned down by the health service. Cosmetic procedures are also provided in a lot of private institutions that once again offer services to patients who would otherwise be turned down by the NHS.

One issue when considering a private hospital is whether there are emergency facilities in place. If anything does go wrong during an operation, onsite emergency provisions are of vital importance. Intensive care units are rarely present in private institutions as they do not have to provide these services very often. In the place of intensive care units, high dependency facilities are usually in operation. If intensive care is needed, the patient will normally be transferred to a public hospital with suitable facilities.

Due to the nature of private medical care it is rare that serious operations are undertaken. It is mostly minor surgery such as hip replacements that are carried out. This is changing however with large London hospitals increasingly performing complex procedures such as heart surgery. It is always worth checking the emergency provisions in a private hospital before undergoing any operational procedure.

Increasingly, private services are encroaching into health service hospitals. This is due to a need for the waiting lists to be reduced for an overstretched NHS. This creates the advantageous situation of having emergency facilities onsite as well as a larger pool of medical knowledge.

With the NHS being put under ever larger amounts of pressure there is little wonder that so many are choosing private health care. Added to the fact that more people are now taking personal health insurance, private services are becoming popular with all manner of patients. It is no longer only the super rich who can afford private medical care, now those with relatively low incomes can choose to avoid the NHS for a more personable service.
About the Author
Cultural expert Thomas Pretty looks into the increasing number of people choosing a private hospital for treatments and operations. To find out more please visit http://www.claremont-hospital.com/
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