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Is private health treatment in the UK worth the money it costs?

There's no getting away from the fact that private health treatment in the UK is very expensive. With even minor operations costing well over a thousand pounds, it's no wonder many people question whether it's worth it.

The main advantage of private healthcare is that you can get immediate medical treatment at a time and place of your choice. No waiting lists, no shared wards, no worries.

However, private healthcare is not a complete alterative to the NHS. For example, private hospitals have no casualty facilities, so if you need urgent treatment, private health care is not much use. It's also important to realise that although the environment in a private hospital will no doubt be more comfortable than an NHS hospital, the actual care and treatment you receive may not be.

In recent years, the cleanliness of NHS hospitals has been called into question prompting many people to believe that private hospitals are cleaner, and therefore less likely to cause infections. Although, in a minority of cases this is true, NHS hospitals are, on the whole, just as clean as hygienic as their private counterparts.

The real question of whether private healthcare is worth it, is simply whether you can afford it. If you can afford private treatment or health insurance premiums, then of course it's worth it. Who wants to wait six weeks for treatment or share a ward with ten strangers?

However, if you can't afford private treatment or monthly premiums don't despair. The NHS is getting better every day. Waiting lists are dropping, standards are improving and investment is increasing. Indeed, sometimes it's easy to forget just how lucky we are to have it.

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