There are always conversations and debates relating to the length of NHS waiting times and certainly the area you live in may be an important factor as to how long you have to wait for non-urgent NHS appointments.
Interestingly with a referral from my own GP to see an orthopaedic consultant only last week I was relieved that I have private medical insurance in place when the referral letter was written and faxed over to my chosen local facility and I had a call the same afternoon from the private hospital in question. Now that was service.
Firstly I have to praise the NHS GP surgery for their extreme efficiency in this instance but to then have a call same day from the Oaks Hospital in Colchester, Essex, the appointment is set.
Then on social media (where else would it be) a friend has posted that she has been referred to an orthopaedic consultant on the NHS and the waiting time is in fact a massive 40 weeks. So although her condition and mine may not be life threatening, the fact that she has a problem and cannot see a consultant or get any diagnostic scans for 40 weeks in my mind tells us so much about our local NHS services.
Private Medical Insurance is of course thought of as a luxury by some however, as my personal circumstance allow it I would prefer to have the cover in place for situations just like this rather than pay for some other luxuries. If I had to wait a further 40 weeks I know my work would suffer as would my ability to get on with normal everyday tasks.
Now I know that not everyone is in a financial situation to afford monthly payments for their healthcare but actually people may be surprised at exactly how reasonable the costs can be.
We are lucky in the UK to have the NHS however, more and more people are understandably looking at alternatives when the waiting times are just too long. The NHS are fantastic in the A & E arena and they provide a fantastic service to the British public but I cannot help but think that 40 weeks for a consultation with the appropriate specialist is just far too long.
Lianne Harrington – September 2017.
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