Access to Specialists in Private Health
Those wishing to pursue their care and treatment to be provided in the private sector may want to find the best specialist in their area or already have a doctor in mind that they would like to request.
When You Know Who You WantIf you already have a specialist in mind regarding your treatment either from previous surgery, from a recommendation or other source it may be possible to speak to your GP and ask for a private referral. Your GP will be able to explain how suitable this doctor is for your needs and make the referral as necessary.
If after the initial appointment the specialist decides that another practicing physician is more suited to your individual health needs they can make a following referral as necessary.
As patients we are now permitted to have preferences regarding who is responsible for our treatment.It should be noted however that highly popular consultants may incur a longer wait than other doctors who are equally qualified, experienced and able to handle your case.
Asking Your GPIf you are unsure about the consultants in your area and are unfamiliar with which team of surgeons perform certain types of surgeries your GP is always a good point of reference. He or she will have access to all the names and contact details of the suitable surgeons or medics who can undertake your treatment.
You can of course perform your own research when you are familiar with the names of the doctors and can also find out which doctors work in which private hospitals as this may also be a preference.
Performing Your Own SearchIt is also possible for patients to perform their own search using the internet and other sources of media to determine which hospitals can offer what treatments and also which doctors work there and how they perform.
For highly specialised areas however the choice may be limited as it would not be cost effective for hospitals to employ large numbers of highly specialised doctors for a small number of patients. In this instance you might find you have to travel further away from home to get a referral to your preference.
Access To Non-Medical SpecialistsOf course it may be that your treatment does not necessarily need the input of a doctor and you might simply be looking for a private nurse or physiotherapist or indeed another profession allied to medicine. In this case you might be able to find a recommendation from your GP, friend or relative or find out from the health providing businesses themselves.
Finding Information From Your Health Insurance ProviderYour insurer may be able to provide all the information you require as they are likely to have their own database or access to a database with all the private consultants that treat patients in your region. They may be able to carry out a search for you and liaise with whichever doctor or professional you select.
They may have input in all the communication between health professionals, healthcare provider and the client and take a great interest in helping you achieve your treatment in the quickest and easiest way as this will benefit the insurer as a business also.
As patients, private or within the NHS we now have, to some degree more say in where and who treats us and we can take a more active role in being responsible for our own health and the medical care we receive. If you have any special or particular preferences then make this known to either your insurance provider or the private or NHS hospital when suitable.