In the UK, essential healthcare services are available free under the NHS for legal residents, which includes people working in the UK (employed and self-employed) as well as EU nationals, refugees, and eligible overseas students and recipients of UK pension who live abroad.
The NHS system is the envy of many other countries, where private medical care is the order of the day.
Yet in the UK, many still prefer to choose private GPs rather than the NHS for their everyday healthcare needs. So what are the attractions of seeing a private doctor?
- Speed – A key advantage of private GPs is that they are readily available and tend to offer a service with short waiting times
- Flexibility – Private doctors often offer extended appointment times to provide their patients with ease of access. This might include early morning, lunchtime, evening or weekend appointments
- Choice – Private surgeries often have a team of GPs and a choice as to who you see. Excellent for those that might, for personal reasons, prefer a female doctor or one who knows their history or whom they feel empathy with
- Quality Time – Private GP services allow for longer appointment times, so that conditions can be fully explored, understood and managed, providing excellent quality of care
- Privacy – Many people feel that a private doctor will be more discrete with less risk of being seen in the waiting room
- Professional – Those used to business-class service are often far more at home in a private GP environment, where excellent patient care is the goal
- Facilities – Private companies can invest in comfortable clinics with modern facilities and equipment
- Efficiency – With teams of professional experts on hand, referrals can be fast and efficient within the private sector
- One-Stop Shop – A private GP clinic like The Smart Clinics often offers a host of additional services, such as travel injections, for its patients’ convenience
- Speed of Results – Any test or results are handled quickly in the private sector and patients can usually access their results more quickly