Private healthcare

Private healthcare operates parallel to the NHS, paid for largely by private medical insurance (PMI).  A minority of patients receive their medical treatments privately. PMI allows you to avoid NHS waiting lists and receive fast-track consultations and private treatment for short-term, curable medical problems. In addition you can usually choose your specialist and be treated privately in an NHS hospital or in a private hospital.

You don’t have to take out PMI, but if you don’t want to use the NHS, you might find it hard to pay for private treatment without insurance, especially for serious conditions.

As an employee you will be entitled to discounted health on some private health-insurance plans.


Private medical insurance

There is a vast range of different PMI plans and private healthcare providers in the UK.

Usually standard PMI plans cover essential treatments, including surgery, consultations, nursing and hospital care, but exclude treatment for drug addiction and incurable conditions.  Typically comprehensive policies offer additional benefits, such as complementary medicine to personal accident cover.

There are two types of plan:

  1. Fully underwritten policies, which require you to disclose your full medical history to establish what will and will not be covered; and;
  2. Moratorium policies, which impose blanket exclusions on pre-existing conditions going back a set number of years.

There are some limitations to PMI in that it does not cover every medical eventuality so it is important to check your policy details.  In addition it does not replace all NHS services, for example, accident and emergency treatments.

The cost of PMI varies depending on the level of cover you buy, your age, state of health and whether or not you smoke.  Popular UK private healthcare providers include:

The University offers several discounted health schemes through the following providers:

You can find out more in the health section of the Human Resources website.


Private dental care

NHS dental treatments are capped, however costs can still be difficult to manage if treatment is unexpected or an emergency.  Moreover the availability of an NHS dentist is also dependent upon demand in your area and often places are difficult to find.  Hence most people sign up to a dental treatment payment plan so they can be treated privately.

There are a number of dental payment plans which can make paying for dental treatments more manageable, for example:

You can also attend a check-up at the University of Leeds Dental Institute to determine whether any treatment you require can be provided by the University free of charge, for teaching purposes.