The two areas of medicine where there is a thriving private sector in the UK include gynaecology and orthopaedics. There are many reasons for this, but patient demand for speed and extra levels of personal care are the key drivers.
Over the past decade there has been a huge increase in the number of new, minimally invasive treatments that have become routinely available to women including laparoscopic surgery, diathermy and embolisation as well as new imaging and diagnostic testing. For example, hysterectomy is no longer the only option for many disorders of the uterus. Gynaecologists operating in the private sector are often under huge pressure to ensure that they are completely up-to-speed with the latest screening and treatment technologies as 'informed patients' naturally want to explore all appropriate options. Of course, just because it is new does not necessarily mean that any technology or treatment is best, but the point is that patients increasingly want to discuss all the pros and cons.