Private hospital treatment: What to consider

By Keith Pollard on 03 November 2022

A checklist of things self-paying and insured patients should consider when planning private treatment

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  • Find out as much as possible about the operation that you need
  • Compare services, treatments, costs and credentials of the hospitals/clinics that provide your surgery or treatment

Self-paying patients

  • Find out the cost of the operation or treatment and what is included
    Many surgery packages cover the hospital charges for treatment and the hospital stay, the consultant’s fees for the operation and a follow-up consultation, but get these points clarified in advance.
  • Check the refund policy in case you change your mind or if a pre-existing medical condition causes treatment to be cancelled – the quotation is usually valid for enough time to give you time to decide or investigate other options
  • Consider how to finance your treatment, some hospitals offer loans, payment plans or the option to spread the cost in monthly instalments – find out what is available to you
    Contact the hospital’s patient services/customer services department if there is anything you are not sure about.

Insured patients

  • Check with your insurer what is covered by your scheme, and if there are any extra charges that you will have to pay
    Any discrepancies between the information from your insurer and the hospital should be clarified before treatment commences.

Planning the operation

  • Decide when and where you want to have the operation – your consultant may have a preferred hospital, but it’s your final decision
  • Enquire about availability – consider how much time you can take away from other commitments, how long you will be hospitalised as well as the recovery time
  • Look into the success rate for your operation, and any possible complications so you are aware of all possible outcomes
  • Ask when you can have visitors

After treatment: questions to ask the hospital

  • How much pain is normally expected after treatment and how long will it last?
  • What help will you need after the operation? And for how long?
  • What restrictions will there be on your normal activities after the operation?
  • When will you need to come back for a follow up appointment?
    Top tips:
    • Compare prices, get a quote for treatment or find a hospital/clinic on
    • Do your research and raise any issues at your initial consultation

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