As the Covid-19 pandemic surged throughout the world with no bias, hospitals swiftly turned their attention to those with serious cases of the virus. With some countries seeing unprecedented numbers of patients flooding in, their focus was forced to shift to the urgent care that those who were suffering really needed. While no one could deny that the work undertaken by those in the healthcare system was nothing short of heroic while all most of us had to do was stay at home, concerns were raised over what was happening with people who were suffering with other ailments, whether they knew about them or not.
The benefits of a private hospital compared to public ones have been highlighted during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic as minor procedures and operations were scrapped and appointments cancelled while wards filled up with Covid-19 patients. Suddenly, people scheduled for treatment were placed back on waiting lists and many remain there months later and are struggling to get the medical care they need. Instead, they have to put up with the symptoms and discomfort of their condition or disease, while some people may not even have been diagnosed yet.
That’s the scenario at public hospitals around the UK and the world, as government health systems creak and groan under the strain of the worst global health crisis in over 100 years. The fallout from solely focusing on Covid patients may be felt for many years to come, as lengthy backlogs of patients are dealt with and, tragically, some get worse or even lose their lives because they weren’t diagnosed or treated in time or were scared to be seen. But if you can afford a private hospital or have health insurance to cover it, all these difficulties disappear in an instant.
What can you expect at a private hospital?
The immediate benefit of a private hospital over a public health system is that there’s rarely any waiting around. When you want a procedure done, the last thing you need is to wait many months or even up to a year or more – as can be the case with some public hospitals – to be seen. It can effectively be like putting your life on hold until your appointment eventually comes around. For busy people who may be running their own companies, that’s just not an option.
Instead, at a private hospital, you’ll most likely be seen by a specialist or consultant soon after you make an appointment. It might even be on the same day or the following one, and so all the concerns and frustrations about long waiting times are gone. Private hospitals can also have medical staff, especially consultants, who are more highly trained and skilled because they’re attracted by the bigger salaries on offer. This means you can get a better level of medical care and potentially recover faster if you’re suffering from a disease or condition.
That care is highly personalised. Doctors and nurses at private hospitals can spend more time with their patients and give them individual attention because they won’t be rushed off their feet with large numbers of people, the way medics at public hospitals generally are. This is an important consideration for many well-heeled people because they want the luxury of discussing their issue in depth with their private doctor to get all the answers they need.
The luxury of a private hospital
If you have to go into hospital for treatment, it’s less stressful, and may even be slightly enjoyable, if your surroundings are luxurious instead of overly clinical and drab, which can make you feel even worse. Private hospitals can sometimes resemble hotels, given their attention to detail in ensuring the environment is pleasing and the kind of superior patient care they are able to provide.
If you’re staying in for several nights, for an operation, for instance, you’ll have a private room instead of a packed ward, and it will be tastefully decorated and pleasant. Most likely, there won’t be unappetising-looking meals served up in plastic containers either, as a private hospital will go to great lengths to ensure patients are served delicious dishes that are almost gourmet. You may even have a dedicated chef to cater to your every culinary whim.
Above all, for those on the go and with opportunities to seize, time is money, and it’s best spent not worrying about your health and waiting around for a medical procedure.