Whilst I would never choose private health care over NHS, my personal experience of NHS care is that it was dreadful to the point of non existent. If I did not have the funds to go private when I needed treatment (with zero health insurance btw) I would probably have lost my job by now.I agree with most of what Brigs says. Just a few comments...
Not sure who this was a response to, but agreed. For anyone unfamiliar with secondary care in the UK: you still wouldn't choose to get an operation done privately if it involved a medium-to-long stay in hospital. If you knew the facts that is...
Having had a major back injury (literally taking me 30 minutes to stand up out of bed, before getting dressed, due to unimaginably painful back spasms from 2 slipped discs) I was told the waiting list for an MRI was 3 months just for a diagnosis. I paid for my own MRI (£250) as I could not work. The results were labelled as "Red Flag" meaning urgent. I took my results to the GP (having to walk a mile as I could not get in a car) and was informed it was another 3 month waiting list for treatment. My body could not handle the morphine based painkillers I was prescribed due to side effects (listed in the side effects info as "stop taking immediately and consult your doctor")
With no other choice I went private and had to hire the surgical theatre to have a spinal injection (£1,000) plus two consultations with a specialist (before and after, £250 each) which enabled me to stand within 24hrs. I had to have private Chiropractic sessions £32.50 a go, three times a week for 6 months. I am now still having 1 session every three weeks, 20 months later.
I was prescribed Physiotherapy on the NHS. Six months later (!) the appointment letter arrived. I had to phone within 7 days to arrange a time. I phoned for 7 days solid and could not get through. I was then off the waiting list.
My experience of NHS is a bad joke, although I agree with the ideology.
I think others will think it's great until they actually need it, although I hope mine is an isolated case. I have a bitter taste after having paid into the NHS for 30+ years and then only receiving a GP appointment informing me of the waiting times. Private care has cost me thousands although I have paid thousands into the NHS.
Sorry, but that's my story.