Why wait for treatment on the NHS to start living your life?
Hip and Knee Replacements: Why wait for treatment on the NHS to start living your life?
Many people across the UK accept that joint pain is part of daily life. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and the myriad of associated health problems are major health issues. However there is a limited pot of NHS money and increasingly restrictive parameters being attached to many orthopaedic procedures, including those where quality of life might be greatly improved, more individuals are facing health decisions about life changing orthopaedic treatments.
A recent survey commissioned by BMI Healthcare, the UK’s largest private hospital group found that 46% of over 55s would consider paying for a hip replacement if it was not available on the NHS. Also recent data from the health analysis firm Dr Foster highlighted that surgery for knees and hips were under pressure across the NHS, with evidence of rationing to save money. The report highlighted the effects of recent austerity, with some operations at their lowest level for several years
Leading orthopaedic surgeon Mr Adrian Wilson at BMI Healthcare says: “Increasingly we are seeing more and more patient seeking treatment for hip and knee surgeries and replacement procedures outside of the traditional NHS routes. This has in part been driven by increased restrictions within the NHS. But also through, advancements in orthopaedic surgical techniques, including minimally invasive surgery, accompanied with enhanced recovery programmes.
“As an expert in the field I know first-hand orthopaedic procedures can have positive impact to a patient’s quality of life. For some, surgery enables a return to full time employment, pursuing previously abandoned sporting pursuits and increasing social and family activities, particularly with grandchildren. ”
BMI Healthcare is encouraging patients to be aware of the healthcare options that are available to them, when they visit their GP. If a procedure isn’t available on the NHS you have the option to use your private health insurance or even to pay for yourself. Putting a price on the social, physical and economic changes of orthopaedic surgery is not easy. However, left untreated, an arthritic joint can lead to further health problems including altered gait, inability to sit or stand unaided, posture problems and lower back pain.
“The initial cost of treatment can appear expensive, but when you compare this to the positive impact it has on a patients quality of life the benefits are clear,” Mr Wilson concluded.
With BMI Healthcare if you are considering orthopaedic procedures, or any procedure, you have the option to pay for the treatment upfront or use the BMI Card to spread the cost of your treatment, helping to make it more affordable and accessible to more people.