The Patient Choice Programme is an initiative of the NHS (National Health Service) in the UK. It outlines how the NHS is improving in providing both qualitative and quantitative information to patients that helps the later in making the right medical choices. The initiative or programme deals with the aspect of exactly when during the diagnosis and treatment procedure a patient should be given the necessary information that helps him make an informed decision.
Now you may be wondering how this affects private healthcare, when everyone knows that private healthcare in the UK offers patients fast access to a wide range of private medical treatments at the patients’ cost. Unlike the NHS, private healthcare facilities and treatments are neither paid nor subsidised by the UK government. However, it offers a number of associated benefits to patients undergoing private health screening, treatments and healthcare facilities.
To put it in simple words, the Patient Choice Program makes patients more aware of the treatment options that they can avail under a particular medical condition. The NHS encourages patients to make informed decisions about their treatment based on the questions they ask their respective doctors.
Therefore, as patients, you should never back out from asking questions related to your medical condition and private treatment options for it to your GP. It is also important to remember that getting private medical care and treatment never comes in the way of your right to access NHS treatments at any point of time.
On the other hand, private healthcare services publish content detailing the treatments and services they offer. You can use this information to ascertain whether private treatment is a better option for you.
Private Healthcare in the UK
Private hospitals in the UK are regulated by a private regulator, namely the Care Quality Commission. This body releases reports at regular intervals about hospital standards and the quality of care and treatment they provide. You can access these reports and based on the information provided therein decide whether you want to receive treatment there.
Private Healthcare Providers
Private hospitals in the UK can be further subdivided on basis of their facilities, specialities, locations, staffs and of course the business organisations operating them. Thus, a private healthcare patient has a large range of options to choose from. Private healthcare industry is unbelievably competitive and every hospital possesses its uniqueness. Some may provide exemplary intensive care; some may offer state-of-the-art eye treatment, whereas some other may be equipped to provide unparalleled treatment and care only to women and children.
The best hospital for you depends on your needs and requirements as a patient.
Private Medical Facilities and Health insurance
Health insurance plays a crucial role in private healthcare in the UK. Private health insurance policies rely upon modern hospitals with state-of-the-art infrastructure. Every health insurance provider maintains its own hospital directory. This directory is a list of hospitals where you can get treatment. Standard health insurance policies usually allow you to get treatment at the largest hospital chains like Nuffield, BMI, Ramsay and others.
In certain cases, your insurance provider may allow you access to treatment at ultra-speciality hospitals at the cost of an additional policy premium. Do some research on the hospitals that you would like to access for your treatment before approaching your insurance provider.
The NHS also has private treatment areas at some of their hospitals. Whenever you access any private medical treatment, it’s better to go through a healthcare insurance provider instead of approaching the hospital directly.
It is the responsibility of your health insurance provider to connect you with their network of hospitals and specialists so that you get the best treatment.
Private Healthcare Treatment Cost
The cost of private healthcare treatment varies from provider to provider. Factors that determine the cost include facilities, equipment, staff and location. In cases of generic treatments, the cost should not fluctuate too much. But if modern infrastructure and expensive medicines are involved, the cost obviously goes up substantially.
Private treatment cost is usually beyond the reach of average people. Doctors associated with Health Screening Clinic offers private health screening and treatments explain this is where health insurance becomes relevant. A health insurance allows you access the best of hospitals and treatments along with additional benefits in return of a monthly or yearly premium.