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Do you need health insurance?

The National Health Service for all it's critics is a wonderful institution particularly for critical illness but sometimes there be long waiting lists for less urgent medical or surgical problems and often it can be a lot more comfortable and less stressful to be treated in a private hospital in your own room and at a time that suits you so private medical insurance can be a real boon when you least expect it. Whilst a patient is in hospital routine bills still have to be paid of course so personal accident insurance or sickness insurance could take away much of the worry involved in a long or even short hospital stay.

The main benefits of being in a position to have private medical attention are the fact that you can be attended to quickly; and you can pick the consultant whom you feel is the best person to treat you, unlike the NHS where you can easily end up in the hands of a fairly junior doctor; no less hard working or devoted but possibly lacking that little bit of experience which can so often make so much difference to a patient's confidence and wellbeing. If further tests are necessary such as MRI or CT scans, angiograms, etc, these can usually be attended to very quickly whereas many NHS hospitals can have long waiting lists, often exacerbated by priority patients who, quite rightly, are given precedence over cases which are considered to be less pressing. It is a very rare for this to happen in a private hospital, if only because the majority of emergency cases are treated by the NHS in any case, and there is a good argument to put forward for this; there are usually more staff available who are qualified in different disciplines, particularly out of normal working hours, than would usually be available in a private hospital. The NHS then is probably the better option for very serious illnesses and emergencies, but for speed and convenience for initial investigations the private sector has a lot to recommend it.

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