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What is private healthcare?
The private healthcare sector is made up of hospitals and clinics which are run independently of the National Health Service (NHS). They are normally run by a commercial company, although some may be run by charities or other non-profit organisations.
If you want to use the services of a private healthcare provider, you are responsible for the fees payable because the NHS does not subsidise any private healthcare costs.
Since the private treatment centres are completely independent, you can, in most cases, choose to be treated wherever you like. The prices and facilities available will vary from hospital to hospital, so if you are a self-pay patient (paying for your private treatment yourself) you may want to shop around to find the most affordable options. Some NHS hospitals may have a private wing or clinic which provides private care at lower prices.
Why use a private healthcare treatment centre?
There are lots of reasons for choosing to get treated in a private treatment centre. Some of these reasons may include worries about waiting times, fears over infection rates and MRSA, as well as simply wanting a second opinion or comfortable surroundings to recover in.
Private healthcare treatment centres can provide you with:
- Quick access to medical treatment.
- Choice of when you would like to be treated.
- Opportunity to choose your consultant or specialist.
- Option to have a treatment which may not be available on the NHS.
- Comfortable and ‘home like’ surroundings, usually with an ensuite bathroom, meal options and no restrictions on visits so you’ll have more personal space.
Although you may find the standard of care and support in the NHS very high; the desire for convenience and comfort may mean that you prefer to use the private sector. Once you have decided to go private, you will need to choose where and when you would like to get treated.