What is a private clinic?
Private healthcare is a sector made up of clinics and hospitals that are run independently from the NHS. However, this service is not free and you are responsible for covering the fees of your treatment or consultation. The facilities, treatments and prices will vary from each establishment, but one advantage of private healthcare is that you have a lot more flexibility around where you are treated.
What’s available at a private clinic?
- Travel clinic: for those who plan on travelling outside of Europe, it’s worth visiting a private travel clinic to get your vaccinations up to date. Although some can be administered at a NHS practice, not all of the relevant jabs are available. If you plan on visiting rural areas, staying in hostels, backpacking or have an existing medical condition, then you are more at risk of catching a travel-related illness. According to World Health Organization, malaria was the cause of an estimated 435,000 deaths throughout 2017; an epidemic in many parts of the world. Don’t risk travelling without the proper vaccinations, ensure you visit a clinic at least six weeks before and have one less thing to worry about.
- Sexual health: checking up on your sexual health should be a priority whatever your age, gender or sexual orientation. If you have any concerns, or have noticed any symptoms of STI’s then getting examined and treated is a straightforward procedure. Opting to visit your local NHS centre can feel embarrassing, especially when you fear that you’re going to see someone you know. Private clinics can be a lot more discreet, and wait times for treatments are significantly reduced; often a diagnosis can be given within the hour.
- Family planning & women’s health: private services can help you with contraceptive advice and guidance on taking the important step of becoming a parent. Being able to feel comfortable and take in information without being rushed is essential when concerning such an important subject. You may leave your appointment feeling unsatisfied or confused if you’re against the clock, which is often the case when using a NHS service. A private GP, however, is likely to put you more at ease and will have more time to discuss your options thoroughly.
- Blood and allergy testing: many people with allergies suffer in silence as they cannot pinpoint the exact cause of their reactions. Having a practitioner conduct a food intolerance test can identify the problem and improve your lifestyle. Other symptoms such as tiredness, hair loss and mouth ulcers may seem minor but could be the result of vitamin deficiency. Specialised clinics will be able to diagnose this with a simple test and offer you quick treatment with readily available supplements.
- Medicals: you may need to undertake an examination for several reasons. The most common medicals needed are for insurance, re-employment examinations, elderly drivers, travel and whiplash injuries. However, at Duality Health, our expert clinics aim to provide additional services based on an individual’s needs. You may need to bring a patient summary form which you can access from your NHS GP. It contains your full medical history, previous treatments and consultations, which can be given to your private GP to ensure that your assessment is as accurate as possible.
- Dermatology: getting your moles checked is extremely important, especially if you spend a lot of time in the sun or you’ve recently noticed changes. The majority of moles are harmless, but, a change in their appearance, bleeding or itching can be a cause for concern. A private medical centre can provide a comprehensive mole screening service by keeping photographic evidence of your moles, so that the consultant can track it’s changes. The earlier a problem is spotted the quicker that treatment can be arranged if necessary.
Advantages of using a Private Medical Centre
Using private healthcare often has a stigma of being for middle class individuals. But, this isn’t the case; there are a range of payment options such as memberships, or if you only need an occasional treatment, you can pay on a one off basis. Going to a private GP has many advantages compared to the NHS. Guidelines shows that for non-urgent consultations there is a maximum wait time of 18 weeks. Private clinics will get you seen a lot quicker, as well as offering walk-in appointments and same day consultations.
- Quicker: one of the main advantages of using a private health service is that your wait time will be massively decreased. Trying to make an appointment at your NHS practice can leave you waiting for weeks, and even if your concern isn’t life threatening you still want to be treated as soon as possible. If you’re unsure of the severity of your symptoms, then this can cause you additional stress if you’re having to wait for a long time to be seen; not to mention a deterioration of your health.
- More resources: private hospitals and clinics offer a wider range of treatments and services than your regular NHS service. This may be particularly beneficial to you if your a keen sportsman which can make you more vulnerable to injury.
- Less crowded: waiting rooms will be a lot less busy, so your appointment time shouldn’t over run and the overall environment will feel a lot more relaxed. Consequently, this will affect the amount of hospital beds that are available. With the NHS struggling to provide a bed for all patients, many people are choosing to avoid the stress and opt for private care. If you need to stay in hospital for a longer period, you may also be concerned about the risk of infection. Luckily, less crowding means a lower chance of contamination which could lead to further problems.
- More attentive: leading on from the fact that private hospitals are less crowded, this also means that nurses and doctors can be more attentive. You’ll feel a lot more cared for, and any possible complications are likely to be spotted early.
- Better rooms:you will usually be given a private room, but if you are on a ward this will be small. The strained NHS budget often means that hospital rooms are dated and the food provided is unpalatable, but in a private establishment you are given better quality meals and other services. There is also less restrictions on visiting hours, so you can feel more at ease by having your family and friends visit you regularly throughout your stay.
- More flexibility: often when you receive a letter from the NHS with an appointment date and time, it clashes with your work schedule. With private healthcare, however, it’s a lot more flexible and they can often fit you in at a time that’s more convenient for you; no more taking time off work.
Your private GP and medical centre: Duality Health
Here at Duality Health we believe that your health is your most important asset, so why not opt for the best medical service available? With clinics in Newry and Dungannon, we offer a range of services to treat general health concerns as well as more specialist areas. For more information contact us today to learn about our services, prices and membership options.