Why people are making the switch to private medical insurance?

Published on: July 3, 2024
Doctor sitting at desk with patient

Private medical insurance is becoming an increasingly popular option. In 2023, there were 900,000 private hospital admissions as more people took advantage of private healthcare instead of NHS treatment. But why has there been such a large increase in people choosing to go private over the past few years? Here are some of the reasons consumers in the UK are making the switch.

Get treatment when you need it

The biggest advantage of private medical insurance is the speed of access to the treatment you need. It’s no secret that NHS waiting lists have been growing longer and longer over the past few years. 7.6 million UK residents are waiting for elective care, with no certainty of how long they will have to wait.

Private medical insurance gives you access to doctors, consultants and specialists in a much shorter space of time. From the initial assessment through the diagnostics and then onto getting the treatment you need, the speed of the process is much faster.

That means you won’t be waiting around for news on your medical issue, and can start planning your treatment and recovery a lot sooner than you would on the NHS.

Better quality of care

Despite all the best efforts of the workers in the NHS, the system itself is under a great amount of strain. Smaller budgets versus higher demand means that, inevitably, corners are cut and the quality of treatment you get can suffer as a result.

Private medical insurance provides a higher standard of care, simply because you are paying for it. Private healthcare in general has more money to invest in staff, equipment and facilities. There is generally more time for appointments, so you don’t feel as rushed and have the time to talk in-depth with your medical professional.

Choose where you get your treatment

One concern many people have about healthcare is the distance you have to travel for treatment, especially specialist diagnostics and care. With the NHS, you have no real choice over where you get your treatment, and will often be forced to choose between an appointment at a convenient location or an appointment at a less convenient location but with a shorter waiting list.

Private health insurance providers generally give you a lot more flexibility over where you get your treatment. So if there is a hospital, health centre or even a specific consultant you would like to use, they can provide access to that location and professional as part of their coverage.

Some providers have a list of approved hospitals and treatment centres to choose from for your treatment. Each provider is different so it’s a good idea to ask about this when you ask for a