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Private Health Insurance :is It Worth It???

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I have worked in the NHS for forty-one years (albeit recently as a self employed practitioner) and my wife has been a Director in BUPA and BMI Hosptals.

I have used her private insurance for back operations, gastro issues, and currently the knee specialist of my choice. A quick Econsult to my GP asking for referral left me sat infront of him the next week. If that Econsult had popped up on my work computer I would have directed him to our physio who has currently been working remotely from home for the last 11 months! This is an ongoing knee issue I thought I could sort out as I would not be skiing, and the wife is retiring soon thus loosing private cover. If the knee had popped twisting whilst walking the dog I would have gone to A&E and would have been referred to a Knee Clinic. I know how to play the system!

Unfortunately physiotherapy has become a bit of a cinderella service in the NHS in some places. Perceived to be a cheap cut by NHS accountants. It must be frustrating for the physios. However paying privately would not be excessive and a good investment in Rehab. Recently paid for several sessions after my mother had a femoral fracture repaired on the NHS with little post op physio. follow up.

If I had serious condition I know, as would my wife, where we would be going - University Hospital Southampton. Private healthcare is fantastic for elective conditions, and possibly for cancer care but I would want an all singing all dancing ITU on hand.

When my wife no longer has work paid private insurance we will look into the costs based on our reduced income.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@brnttptr, I agree with the suggestion to look into increasing your excess. It can sometimes make a huge difference to the premium and IMO it is seldom worth claiming (due to loss of NCD) unless the claim is well over a thousand. It can also be worth self-paying for initial consultations and then decide whether to claim depending upon the outcome of the consultation/test etc.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
boarder2020 wrote:

They have better machines than the NHS guys

Other than ultrasound I'm not really sure what machines a physio would need. That's the issue I have with the private physio I wouldn't recommend - he's all flash gizmos and buzz words over substance but people seem to buy into it (again if you are at a physio you probably don't know a lot about this stuff hence why you are there so perhaps unreasonable to expect any more). Physios do pretty much identical base training, any half decent musculoskeletal physio can treat sports injuries regardless if they promote themselves as a sports specific physio. If you are a decent athlete you will have a specialist physio attached to you in some way (I don't think the tour de France guys are scanning yellow pages for physio recommendations wink ). For the rest of us as much as you may not want to believe it your requirements are not much different to a regular person that doesn't exercise much. Injuries might be a little different (although sports injuries are mostly pretty easy to diagnose) but treatment is pretty identical.

The other interesting thing is that the people I know who rave about their physio the most are also the ones that spend the most time and money seeing them. If they were so good at their job you would hope their clients didnt end up so injured they were constantly there!

As for the actual question like with any insurance it's a kind of gamble. You are essentially betting that you will get injured. If you stay injury free you lose out, but perhaps not a bad thing overall! Know 2 people that had hernias 1 with private health insurance was given op pretty much straight away, the other has been waiting over 1.5 years (ok this is probably more than usual due to covid). Night and day difference. If I had the money to spare I'd definitely be considering private insurance, but as a youngish healthy person is rather spend my limited money elsewhere.

Physiotherapy, and for that matter surgery, are no different to any other service. All have sound practitioners and all have those devoid of communications skills, capability and trust. There are many who talk a good game or name drop associations to try and sell you. On the other hand physiotherapy is an extremely poorly paid specialty in private practice, there is an over supply of inexperienced practitioners, the hoped for NHS jobs didn't ever materialise driving them into the private sector whilst very green. In addition the physiotherapy body has been extremely poor at protecting their title so many offer physiotherapy with very mediocre qualifications that loosely resemble physiotherapy. I know many physiotherapists whose quality should allow them to invoice more than an medic. Many are less good.
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