Private Medical Insurance – Unlike in some other countries, in the United Kingdom the subject of private medical insurance is sometimes controversial from what some people seem to believe to be a moral viewpoint.
In fact, this sometimes arises from the mistaken view that private medical insurance is somehow in direct confrontational competition with the National Health Service.
The reality is that private health cover (sometimes referred to as PMI) is typically intended to be complementary to the Health Service rather than in competition with it.
The NHS is typically regarded as an excellent service but it exists primarily to provide what is sometimes referred to as primary health care. In other words, it exists to deal with urgent and life-threatening conditions as its top priority.
If you or a member of your family is faced with a condition requiring treatment but which does not come into the above urgent or critical categories, the NHS may understandably prioritise your requirements below those of its patients who have more urgent needs.
This is where private medical cover comes into play, as it may be able to offer a service that is capable of dealing very quickly and efficiently with your medical needs that would not normally constitute a top priority for the NHS.
There are various levels of such insurance cover available and what they may entail is fast access to top medical consultant specialists in a hospital of your choice and eventually treatment in perhaps a fraction of the time that may be possible on the NHS.
What private medical insurance may give you is not just speed of service but also choice and convenience. If you are waiting for treatment to resolve a medical problem, even if it is a relatively minor one, it may be hard to put a price on such a facility.