In addition to having the world's largest publicly funded health service, the UK also has a private healthcare sector where the treatment you receive is based on the amount that you pay.

Private healthcare is paid for by private health insurance, funded as part of an employer funded healthcare scheme or arranged and paid directly by the customer. If you receive private health cover from your employer it is considered a "benefit in kind" and will be subject to income tax.

Full details of Tax on Benefits in Kind is available from CitizensAdvice.

Private medical insurance

Private medical insurance (PMI) allows you to avoid NHS waiting lists and receive fast-track consultations and private treatment for short-term, curable medical problems. You are treated privately in an NHS hospital or in a private hospital.

It’s designed to get you diagnosed and treated quickly, and will offer you a prompt referral to a consultant and admission to a hospital at a time and place that is convenient for you.

PMI can also include dental treatment, counselling and psychotherapy, physiotherapy, or treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.

There are several different types of health insurance policies and many companies offering various services so you will need to decide which is the right level of cover at an affordable price for you.

Guides to PMI can be found at .

Detailed information on all aspects of Private Healthcare is available

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