As a result of the many disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of people on NHS waiting lists in England has passed 6 million, the highest number since records began in 2007. The Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, has recently unveiled the NHS Elective Recovery Plan, which sets out how the NHS will tackle this huge backlog; however he concedes that the waiting list for non-emergency surgery is not likely to start falling for another two years.
Delays worsen the clinical outcomes
Delays in the provision of healthcare cause real harm. The dire consequences of delays in cancer diagnosis and treatment are of course all too obvious. However, with many other medical conditions, the longer they are left the worse they become, meaning that they are harder to treat and the probability of a good outcome is reduced. This is quite apart from the fact that people end up suffering, unnecessarily, for longer periods, and the wider societal consequences.
Private healthcare no longer a luxury
The pandemic has regretably pushed the NHS into an extreme crisis and this means that private healthcare can no longer to be viewed as a luxury.
Between 11 and 13% of the UK population has private medical insurance, which gives almost instant access to private medical care for most health needs. However, if you don’t already have insurance, and you then develop a medical problem, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to get the ‘pre-existing condition’ covered by subsequent insurance. Also, insurance policies often dictate which Consultant Specialist you can see, where you can be seen and what treatments are permitted. This is entirely at odds with the 'contract of care' that should exist between the patient and their consultant, without the interference of any third party. Indeed, direct access to your Consultant is in fact only possible if you personally fund your private treatment.
Self-funded private medical treatment means that you can:
- get seen rapidly by the Specialist Consultant of your choice,
- have almost instant access to the full range of diagnostic procedures that you need, leading to a quick and accurate diagnosis of your condition,
- have a personalised treatment plan put together that is right for you as an individual,
- have rapid access to surgical care, if you need it, and
- have access to the latest surgical techniques, with the best equipment, in high-quality private facilities.
Funding private healthcare
Without private health insurance, funding private treatment frequently means utilising savings. However, now a new service provided by Loans4ops gives advice and assistance to patients requiring access to funds specifically for private surgery.
"We set up Loans4ops with the specific aim of helping people secure affordably-priced loans with safe, sensible and ethical terms, so as to allow as many people as possible to access private treatment within the independent healthcare sector," says James Rose, MD of Loans4ops. "We help patients to obtain the funding that they need to get rapid access to private surgery and to allow them to take control of their own healthcare needs."
Former managing director of The Confederation of British Surgery, James Rose is expert in healthcare financial services and has worked with thousands of UK clinicians.
James Rose adds, "If you need surgery and you’re contemplating going down the private healthcare route, but you don’t have medical insurance or a large lump sum of money just sitting there, ready at your disposal, then a tailored, surgery specific loan may be right for you."