[Skip to content]

Private Healthcare UK
Search our Site
Guide to PMI sponsored by Bupa

About the sponsor

Bupa is a leading provider of private medical insurance (PMI) with over 14 million customers in over 190 countries worldwide.

PMI from Bupa

Download guide

Download this guide as a PDF file [ 444kb ]

Private Medical Insurance : Overview

Why do you need private health insurance?

If you or a member of your family becomes ill you want to take prompt action to get treatment. The NHS is good as an accident and emergency service but its resources elsewhere are stretched.

With more people using limited resources, there can be long delays before treatment becomes available. However much money the government pumps into the NHS, it is struggling against increased demands from a larger and longer living population, as well as having to deal with medical advances which increase costs and the range of what can be treated.


Some idealists suggest we should spend huge amounts of the taxpayers' money to make the NHS perfect, so making the private health care sector redundant. But in the real world the private health care sector is no longer seen as anti-NHS. They work closely together. Many NHS hospitals would have to cut services if they lost private beds. Many senior NHS staff would quit if they were unable to do private work to supplement their income. Private healthcare does not seek to compete with the NHS on accident and emergency work, but they work together in many ways.


Some people have no choice but to rely solely on the NHS. Others have strong views about only using the NHS.


A disease, illness or injury takes its toll on the physical and mental health, not just of the person themselves, but of their family. Almost all conditions benefit from prompt treatment. Long waits for treatment are not just painful, they can cause the problem to get worse. Trying to persuade your GP or hospital to speed things up is worth a try, but if you succeed all it does is increase the wait for someone else.

So what's the solution?

Even those of modest means can afford a solution. Insurers have developed a range of private medical insurance / health plans products and choices to suit all needs and all pockets.

Private Medical Insurance, also known as Private Health Insurance, is a solution.


It offers:

  • Rapid access to medical treatement

  • Often a choice of when and where treatment is provided

  • Private hospital facilities

  • Some private health care treatments that may not be available on the NHS

  • A host of extra benefits and helplines


It puts YOU in control!



Children are often included free of charge or for an extra premium where one or more of the parents are covered.

Another alternative is to take out a policy in a parent's name but just to cover a child. Insurers may not be prepared to do this so it is much simpler to take out a policy for an adult. It may be almost as cheap to take out a policy for an adult and get the children covered, as it is to pay adult premium just for one child.



Next: What do you need? >