We are extremely lucky in the UK to have a free health service, something that most other countries are without. Even some of the most developed nations in the world such as the USA have expensive healthcare, and a trip to the hospital can cost more than many can afford. The NHS allows us to have access to free healthcare, which is especially beneficial for families and individuals on lower incomes and for emergencies.
But the NHS is not perfect. With a huge drop in funding over the past few years, the quality in services is declining. This means a lack of rooms and beds for patients, long waiting lists for operations and even appointments, and not enough money to fund some new medicines or treatments.
Many people are now wondering if it is worth investing in health insurance rather than using the NHS. So is it worth swapping a free service for paid private insurance? Here are a few reasons why investing in health insurance could be just the right thing to do.
Receive first class treatment
When new drugs or treatments become available it is often hard to access them through the NHS, as they can be quite expensive. This can obviously be very frustrating to patients, their families and even the doctors who want the best possible treatment options at their disposal. Patients with health insurance have fewer limits when it comes to expensive treatments, as they are less restricted when it comes to the cost. This means you and your loved ones can access the newest, best treatments without financial restraints.
Skip the lines
One of the biggest issues with the NHS is the excruciatingly long waiting lists for treatments. Whether it’s a life-saving transplant, a routine operation or just a GP appointment, there is always a wait involved. Health insurance gives you the luxury of skipping the queues for many treatments, and get you a bed in a hospital room a lot easier and faster than with the NHS.
Have a better hospital experience
Needing hospital treatment is not ideal and can usually be a very uncomfortable experience. Whether you’re faced with bad food, a noisy cramped room or a shared bathroom, your time in hospital can be full of inconveniences. Health insurance could put an end to highly uncomfortable hospital stays. Some insurance policies will help you to have a private room and ensuite, with healthier, more delicious food options and more space to accommodate visitors. All of this can ensure that your hospital stay isn’t any more undesirable than it needs to be.
Take some pressure off the national health service
Taking the strain off the NHS is just one way we can help it to survive. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford private health insurance, it could be worthwhile to invest in it. This allows you to access excellent care in a private hospital, while giving breathing space to an overcrowded and underfunded NHS.