The Cost of Private Healthcare vs The Cost of The NHS – What Can You Afford to Lose?

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The most basic research into private healthcare will uncover that it isn’t the cheapest option – the cost is what deters most people from taking private healthcare, and instead struggle with the cons of the NHS (as amazing as it is). But is it really worth risking satisfaction and a certain level of quality, all over cost? Can you afford to lose such benefits?

Firstly, let’s compare the two.


The NHS is a national healthcare service in the UK, publicly funded via taxation. Established in 1948, it provides a service to all people regardless of gender, age, sexuality, race, disability, religion or belief.

The general consensus is that health services are comprehensive, universal, and most importantly, free.

Private Healthcare

Although not a new concept, private healthcare in the UK is independent healthcare sectors made up of hospitals and clinics, usually by (but not limited to) commercial companies, charities or other non-profit organisations.

Why the NHS?

It’s free: the NHS’s most well-known and popular benefit is that it’s free. There are very few countries in the world that offer such a healthcare service at no charge, and doctors & nurses are motivated by the aim of patient care and job satisfaction.

Everyone has access: there is no person living in the UK or in England that doesn’t have access to healthcare services thanks to the NHS, and there are no limitations one would normally face with private healthcare such as cost.

Wider range of treatments & services: more times than others, most (if not all) treatments, procedures and surgeries can be taken care of while on the NHS, unlike the private healthcare sector.


Why Private Healthcare?

Wider Range of Higher-Quality Facilities: One of the mains reasons people opt for private healthcare is the range of facilities and options available that wouldn’t be available on the NHS. For example; private hospital facilities, up-to-date tech etc.

Higher Demand: With an ageing (and growing) population and increased range of treatments, the demand for health care is rising. This means governments will have to spend more while struggling to keep up with growing demands from the public – therefore a lot of private healthcare providers want to take some of the pressure off

Bureaucratic Inefficiency: Government services can become bureaucratic and overstaffed, with too many administrators doing a multitude of things at the same time. Private healthcare usually tends to avoid these issues with the larger number of professionals.

Although the UK is lucky enough to have an operation in place like the NHS, there are many nations and countries around the world that aren’t as lucky to have a public funded health service. For example, the most serious health care problem faced by Americas is cost/affordability.

While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made health insurance policies generally more affordable for the general public, premiums are still too high for many American citizens, and rightly so.

It can be argued that the problem of affordability is usually a problem of cost, being that healthcare usually costs a lot. One would think that with the concept of free or affordable healthcare benefitting so many different people, it would be more world-widely accepted – but apparently not.

Healthcare services, which are already sparse in ‘third world’ countries, are non-existent options to some citizens, with things like poverty and lack of resources contributing to the lack of healthcare.

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