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Do UK Citizens Need Private Medical Insurance

Updated on June 26, 2015
Patient receiving treatment
Patient receiving treatment | Source

British Nurses

It takes longer to train as a nurse than it does to train for being Prime Minister. Nurses from the NHS and private sector deserve medals for their dedicated levels of service often under increasing work loads.

NHS V Private Health Insurance

In the UK we are lucky to have the NHS firmly in place and available for all, so why would you want to pay a small fortune for private health insurance when UK citizens can get it for free?

Firstly - let’s just get one thing straight. The NHS is not free. UK citizens pay an average of 12% of their total income to their national insurance contributions. However it should be seen as the wise investment that it is since it not only cover s the NHS, but also state pensions.

The major selling point of the NHS is that it every UK citizen is entitled to free healthcare in the UK, including dentistry. In fact British citizens have the best tooth health in the world! (Are we allowed to be a little smug, since we've taken years of snide jokes from Americans about our 'poor' teeth?!)

The downside to a universal healthcare service is that people may have to wait a little longer to receive treatment compared to private.

Having the NHS doesn't mean that private health insurance is unpopular in the UK though. On the contrary, around 7 million people annually take out their own insurance, or their work places do it for them.

So what’s the difference between the NHS and Private Health Insurance?

Private health insurance does not provide patients with super treatment methods or miracle cures. The treatments are pretty much the same as you would get in the NHS. However, in a private hospital you will be sure to receive more personal treatment, maybe get your own private quarters depending on the health issues and treatment needed. The biggest plus with private health insurance is the waiting time. If you rely on the NHS you could wait for about 5 months before you are treated. If you have private health insurance you could be treated within one or two weeks.

Occasionally some NHS treatments do require you to pay as well, which can be a nasty shock when you are not feeling your best!

Is Private Health Insurance worth the cost?

It depends on each individual situation really. Health insurance packages for 1 adult can range from £15 to £145 per month. This means that there is obviously quite a gap on available cover options.

In the end it all comes down to affordability. If you can afford to give your family the peace of mind that comes with having a comprehensive private health insurance then great! If you can’t afford the potentially unnecessary expense, then there is always the NHS. It is not only well respected in the UK, but worldwide too, due to its treatments and life saving techniques that help and save thousands of patients everyday.

Pmi V Nhs

If you could afford PMI... would you take it out?

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