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Healthcare - The NHS And Private Sector

Jan 16, 2008
Healthcare is something that all of us will need at some point in our lives and within the UK there are two ways of going about getting the treatment that you need. You have a choice between using the state run service in the form of the NHS or you can opt to have your treatment and assessments done within the private sector.

The NHS is the world's largest healthcare service and the world's third largest employer after the Chinese army and the Indian railways. The NHS employs one million people and costs 50 billion a year to run.

Since 1948 the NHS has provided primary care (general practitioners), in patient care, long term healthcare, ophthalmology and dentistry. The NHS provides the majority of healthcare in England and is recognised as one of the best health services in the world by the World Health Organisation but there needs to be improvements in order to cope with the demands of the 21st century.

The NHS is funded by the taxpayer which means it is accountable to parliament and managed by the department of health, which sets targets for the NHS and monitors its performance through eight regional offices.

Both the NHS and private sector hospitals promote health and prevent ill health. They diagnose and treat injury and disease as well as care for those who are living with long term illness and disability. However in cases the limited resources and long waiting lists of the NHS have led both patients and politicians to look to the private health sector to provide them with solutions to their healthcare needs.

The private health care sector provides high quality care but with a premium price tag. There are a lot of insurance companies that now offer medical insurance such as Norwich union and BUPA, who specialist in health insurance. Then there are the actual private healthcare hospitals such as the Nuffield. The Nuffield is a private healthcare hospital that provides healthcare and surgery. The Nuffield, like many private healthcare hospitals operate on a flexible payment policy, which incorporates several ways in which people can pay for their healthcare such as medical insurance; in this case you should liaise closely with your insurance provider throughout your course of treatment

If medical insurance is something that you however do not have then you are still welcome at private hospitals such as the Nuffield as they operate a system which means that you can also pay for you treatment in a one off payment. When you visit a hospital such as the Nuffield for treatment you will be given a price for treatment that has been tailored to your individual needs and includes aspects such as general hospital costs, consultant fees and anaesthetist's fees, all of which comes as one fixed price that will not change.

Private health care is always considered to be better than the NHS when in practise this isn't really true. The consultants who work in private sector hospitals are no better qualified than the consultants who work in the NHS and consultants who work in the NHS also do some work within the private sector. The only difference that I feel there is between the NHS and the private sector is the waiting list of a private sector is shorter and in most cases you get your own room but that's it.

The NHS, despite its bad reports in the media, is an amazing organisation that treats 1.4 million people a week, makes over 50,000 emergency ambulance journeys and dispenses 8.5 million items on prescriptions every week as well as performing about 1,200 hip operations 3,000 heart operations and 1,050 kidney operations in an average week.

With improvements constantly being made to the NHS there really is no need to pay for treatment that will be no better than the treatment you will receive on the NHS.
About the Author
Helen Cox is the web master of Article Alley, home of all your Health and Healthcare article needs.
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