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Why do people use Private Medical Insurance in the UK?

The National Health Service (NHS) was established in 1948 to provide healthcare to everyone in the UK regardless of wealth. Today, it is the largest and oldest single-payer healthcare system in the world* and funded by the UK taxpayer.

Despite being one of the best healthcare systems in the world, the service is under increasing pressure from a growing, ageing population and being asked to make major efficiency savings. 

With many health experts predicting that patients are set to experience poorer care and even longer waiting times, more people are turning to private health for that extra peace of mind.

So what does PMI Offer?

Reduced waiting times

One of the main reasons people take out private health insurance is to avoid long NHS waiting times.

In 2015, there were reportedly over 3 million people on the NHS hospital waiting list, with a target waiting time of 18 weeks**. However, those who have private health insurance can get treatment as soon as its available, normally reducing and in some cases eliminating, those NHS waiting times.

Choice

For those who rely on the NHS you are assigned a hospital and appointment times. However, with private healthcare you have a much wider choice of appointment time, specialist and hospital to suit your needs and schedule.

Your own private room

The majority of patients who visit an NHS hospital for treatment will be given a bed in a shared room with a variety of other patients. Whereas the majority of patients in a private hospital will benefit from a private room, en-suite facilities, free parking and quite often, a-la-carte menus. 

Drugs and treatments may be available, that cannot be accessed on the NHS

It may be possible, under private healthcare, to access the latest drugs and treatments, licensed by the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), which aren’t routinely available on the NHS (outpatient drugs are not covered).

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*http://www.doctors4uk.com/healthcare/

**http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3158591/Hospital-waiting-lists-seven-year-high-3-4m-need-treatment-6-000-forced-wait-year-operations.html 

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