What are your experiences with private healthcare? What are your experiences with private healthcare?

View Poll Results: Do you have private medical?

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  1. #1

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    Default What are your experiences with private healthcare?

    Every now and then I consider whether private healthcare is worth it, and don't get very far - our local GP was really good and always easy enough to get an appointment, and we've not had to visit hospital for years.
    But we've moved to the sticks and I don't gather the GPs here are much cop. And yesterday we had our first visit to the local A&E for years... it wasn't terrible but it was packed on a Tuesday afternoon with a 4-6 hour wait, barely anyone there looked like they'd had an accident or were having an emergency. Goodness knows what it would be like at the weekend if we had to visit

    When I briefly googled the other day, Bupa's nearest private GP was 2 hours away. And to be honest I'm unclear how private healthcare/insurance covers the 3 main areas:

    • GP and similar
    • Hospital appointments
    • Emergency care


    We were chatting as we waited, where do rich and famous people go if they need urgent care? They surely don't sit in a waiting room for 8 hours do they? But would an ambulance take you to your preferred hospital, it's not like 999 gives you an option for private ambulance!

    Interested what people here - who must be prime private medical demographic - do. Are you signed up for private and if so, what do you get - and which services have you actually used?

    Quick poll tossed in too.
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  2. #2

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    Ambulances will ways take you to the NHS A&E that's either closest or most appropriate, depending on what's wrong with you.

    A&E is still the best place for true emergency care. You can pay for a private GP to do all the routine stuff, or use a service like Babylon (I have my doubts over it but do your own research). Treatment that requires specialists will always require a referral from a GP.

    You can cherry pick private treatments. For example, my Dad got fed up of constant cancellations for a hip replacement so went to the local private hospital (same surgeon as NHS probably) and paid £12k to get rid of the pain.

  3. #3

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    have had Pruhealth / Vitality cover for a few years now,

    haven't really had to use it much but the biggest obstacle was understanding what the process was for making a claim

    the times we've tried to use the service didn't really come to much as they were pre-existing conditions

    but a nice feature of our cover is an appointment with a remote GP with 24hours, but again only used that once or twice

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by ladymuck View Post
    A&E is still the best place for true emergency care.
    If you keel over and get taken straight in for treatment, absolutely. But if you need on-the-day attention and have to visit the emergency room that's the bit I wonder about. Yesterday we knew it was probably precautionary but both the GP and 111 strongly advised us to go. 4 hours wait for about 10 minutes. I'm fortunate I WFH and could just go with her but when you bill hourly, it would actually have been cheaper to pay through the nose. But I've no idea if that was even an option.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by d000hg View Post
    Every now and then I consider whether private healthcare is worth it, and don't get very far - our local GP was really good and always easy enough to get an appointment, and we've not had to visit hospital for years.
    But we've moved to the sticks and I don't gather the GPs here are much cop. And yesterday we had our first visit to the local A&E for years... it wasn't terrible but it was packed on a Tuesday afternoon with a 4-6 hour wait, barely anyone there looked like they'd had an accident or were having an emergency. Goodness knows what it would be like at the weekend if we had to visit

    When I briefly googled the other day, Bupa's nearest private GP was 2 hours away. And to be honest I'm unclear how private healthcare/insurance covers the 3 main areas:

    • GP and similar
    • Hospital appointments
    • Emergency care


    We were chatting as we waited, where do rich and famous people go if they need urgent care? They surely don't sit in a waiting room for 8 hours do they? But would an ambulance take you to your preferred hospital, it's not like 999 gives you an option for private ambulance!

    Interested what people here - who must be prime private medical demographic - do. Are you signed up for private and if so, what do you get - and which services have you actually used?

    Quick poll tossed in too.
    The only observation that I can make is that when I was a member of BUPA, they would not pay out if you had treatment from an individual who didn't hold the title of consultant. I'm not sure what qualifications are necessary to be called a consultant though. Additionally, any treatment had to be paid for up front and a claim made, which then could be rejected. Conditions might have changed now though.

  6. #6

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    I also have looked into it - but all the ones I could find always need you to go to your local GP first before you could then go down the private route.

    As for what the rich and famous do - you need to pay through the nose for your own private GP......

  7. #7

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    We have a private hospital with A&E

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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelJK View Post
    We have a private hospital with A&E
    we have the Welsh Assembly in charge of health issues!

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    When my wife was diagnosed with cancer, we tried to go private for the surgery. We couldn't find a private hospital within 200 miles that would operate. One private hospital I contacted said, if anything went wrong, she'd be immediately transferred to an NHS hospital. A couple of consultants I spoke to, who did private practice, said not to even think about going private for something this serious.

    Unfortunately, our NHS hospital doesn't offer private rooms, so I couldn't even pay extra for this.

    Having said all that, the NHS hospital was brilliant. The wards were grim and the food was awful but the clinical care was fantastic. The consultant was top of his game; almost certainly saved my wife's life.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by NigelJK View Post
    We have a private hospital with A&E
    Does the hospital have ICU beds? Otherwise I would be suspicious of calling this more than an urgent care / minor injury unit. Last time I did any contract work on this topic, the Wellington was the only private with ICU beds.

    Wellington excepted, a good rule of thumb is that private hospitals in the UK are good, but not if staying overnight, when medical cover can be sketchy.

    I never had private cover in the UK, but do in Ireland as waiting times are horrific here.
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