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The Increased Use Of The Private Hospital

May 23, 2008
Increasingly in Britain it is the case that people are turning away from the NHS and heading to private hospital instead. The reasons for this are diverse and widespread; while many commentators may attribute the increased popularity of the private hospital to the supposed downturn in services provided by the NHS, the reasons could be as simple as patients wanting their own room, requesting a private en-suite or even the more diverse menu options available in private hospitals.

It is not even the case that patients have to fork out for their trip to a private hospital. A government initiative is currently investing millions in sending patients in NHS hospital beds to those in private hospitals. Fundamentally this has been a drive to outsource minor operations to private specialists in an effort to reduce the huge waiting lists that many patients are currently stuck on. This is not the case for everyone however, for those who are paying; there are many considerations that must be made before visiting a private hospital.

As previously stated, it is the gargantuan waiting lists that are driving many to use a private hospital instead of an NHS one. For operations such as a routine hip replacement a trip to a private hospital will most probably a worthwhile choice. As one of the more common forms of surgery, waiting times for hip replacements are huge. Considering that the need for a replacement hip can be an extremely painful affliction, anything that can speed up the time you will have to wait for an operation can be deemed as a positive.

A visit to a private hospital differs from a public one immensely. It is unlikely that you will be put on a ward and will most probably have your own room. While en-suite facilities are not certain, there is a strong chance that you will get them. One of the greatest benefits however is that family members will be bale to stay with you overnight, especially comforting in times of pain. Some private institutions have now hired qualified chefs and developed 'a la carte' menus for patients meaning your culinary requirements will be easily met in a private hospital.

The operations undertaken in private institutions vary from NHS ones. While the NHS may be unwilling to treat patients for problems such as fertility, independent care will happily perform the work. Cosmetic surgeries are also an increasingly large part of private medical care's repertoire, especially for patients that may have been turned down by the NHS.

There can be a problem with undergoing surgery at a private hospital. Most have a distinct lack of emergency care provisions so in the unfortunate event that something goes wrong; you may find yourself being carted away to a public hospital for emergency treatment. It is also rare that these hospitals will have an intensive care unit; once again it is normally the case that you will be transferred to a regular institution.

While serious conditions and operations have not been undertaken by private hospitals in the past, it is increasingly becoming the case that more complex procedures are being carried out. It is likely you will have to pay for these kinds of services and the premium will most likely be high.

As the NHS is put under increasing amounts of pressure to perform ever larger numbers of operations, it is unsurprising that so many people are opting for private medical care. As more and more people take out medical insurance private hospitals will experience a boom time in numbers of patients. Subsequently it is not just the rich who can now afford this type of care; those with the foresight to take out insurance policies and those lucky enough to be transferred can also enjoy the delights of their own room and wonderful cuisine while being treated.
About the Author
Medical expert Thomas Pretty looks into why the private hospital is becoming a popular option for treatments and operations.
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