As much of a privilege and a right public healthcare is, it’s important that there is another option. There are so many reasons why someone would choose to go private healthcare when it comes to this, including the lack of waiting times, the high quality, or the urgency of the matter.
So, when is the right time to go private? When have things gotten bad enough that you can justify spending money on something that is essentially free? We’re breaking down the things you need to think about when considering going private.
When the waiting list is simply too long
The perk of private healthcare is the lack of a waiting list. Public healthcare is something everyone has access to and therefore there is usually a wait until you are seen. Even with a system based on severity, that can mean you’re waiting a while for someone to be able to fit you in. That isn’t a good option if you are either, running out of time, or are in too much pain to bear.
When you can afford it
The big elephant in the room when it comes to private healthcare is that it isn’t paid for by the state. You are going to have to make sure you have the funds to cover not only the healthcare you need, but any follow-up care you might need should not everything go to plan.
This might mean saving up, if you have that time, or it might mean taking out a personal loan. The point is to make sure you can afford it. Make sure you’re not getting yourself into a lot of debt to simply skip the queue, unless your judgement tells you that you really have to.
When your insurance is in place
On the other hand, you can take out health insurance policies that cover private practices. The problem here is that you can’t suddenly gain a need for insurance and then take it out. You’re not likely to get coverage for a pre-existing condition, for example. So you just have to roll the dice on private healthcare insurance.
While you’re thinking about who should do your surgery, you should also look at their insurance. Medical indemnity insurance covers a surgeon should something go wrong. Things can get ugly should this conversation arise, but insurance can help the two parties avoid legal bills and cases. Check out the Incision website for more information on medical indemnity insurance.
When the idea of the recovery puts you off medical tourism
There is an obvious perk to getting your surgery done abroad, whether it’s elective or not: the built-in holiday. Go to sleep for a few hours, wake up “fixed”, and spend your recovery time on the beach. Ideal, yeah?
Perhaps not. There is extra risk in having your surgery done in a foreign country, where there might be better experience in doctors at home. But there is also the fact that recovering on a beach isn’t as easy as sitting there soaking up the sun. The extra heat alone could prolong recovery and make it a lot more difficult. If you aren’t familiar with the culture or the surroundings, this can make things even more difficult. And should you need extra care if something goes wrong, that’s not likely to be covered by your insurance. Neither is your flights or accommodation, by the way.
Granted, the extra care won’t be covered privately at home either. But at least it’s less likely to happen in your own space with your own people around you and a temperature your body is used to.
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