Waiting for surgery can be a long and stressful time. There have been numerous newspaper headlines about surgical waiting lists getting longer and rising cancellations of planned and elective surgical procedures. For example, the waiting time for knee and hip replacements is often more than 100 days and for hernia surgery, it’s around 98 days. While it is understandable that NHS hospitals need to treat emergency cases as a priority, it is of little comfort if you are waiting for less urgent treatment.
The result can be increased stress and anxiety and the possibility of a worsening condition. On top of this, you may be unable to work for an extended period and suffer a loss of earnings.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Private Health Insurance gives you the peace of mind that if you ever require medical treatment or surgery, you can bypass potentially lengthy NHS waiting lists by opting to be treated privately.
This type of insurance usually covers most surgical procedures, except those for treating cancer and heart conditions (which are prioritised by the NHS), and may also include an allowance for outpatient treatment and additional physiotherapy. Pre-existing conditions probably won’t be covered, unless there hasn’t been any treatment or symptoms for a predefined period of time.
So with NHS waiting lists not looking like they’ll be getting any shorter anytime soon, the ability to use an insurance policy to opt for private treatment means that you will be back on your feet far sooner.
Seeking treatment in this way actually means that you will be helping to relieve the pressure on the NHS as you will be accessing the treatment through a private provider rather than waiting on the NHS list. Therefore, others on the waiting list will move up a place and be seen sooner, all other circumstances permitting.
Indeed, many of the elective surgical procedures on the NHS are carried out through a private hospital under an agreement between NHS and private hospitals. The process of receiving private treatment is generally quicker than the NHS due to the volume of patients seen through this route, and the procedures can be arranged at a time to suit the patient.
At Westfield Health, we have developed the Private Health Insurance range of products. Corporate paid Surgery Choices 1 and 2 features premiums that are the same for all policyholders on the same level of cover, while the consumer paid Private Health Insurance has age-related premiums. For both plans, premiums do not increase with claims.
More information about our Private Health Insurance can be found by clicking the links above, or email us at [email protected].