There are several ways to get affordable health insurance in Dumfries. The first step is by accessing the risk factors involved, then understand your needs and preferences and then compare quotes from different health providers if you decide to purchase a private health policy.
Ways To Get Affordable Health Insurance In Dumfries
In Dumfries, you can get healthcare services from two sources; either the public health service or private health insurance.
Public Health Service
Located in the Southwest of Scotland, Dumfries health care is mainly provided by Scotland’s public health service, NHS.
The NHS – National Health Service provides free healthcare services to all people living in Dumfries as well as other parts of Scotland. Launched in July 1948, the NHS is funded by general taxation and offers free care at the point of use.
The services offered by the NHS are very comprehensive, covering an extensive list of healthcare needs. It also presents itself as the most affordable, best and safest healthcare service.
Some of the key principles of the NHS are access to healthcare services based on clinical need and not on an individual’s ability to pay and comprehensive service available to all.
In Dumfries, all people, residents and non-residents are entitled to the services provided by the NHS irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy, marriage and religion.
If you want to access treatment or the services offered by the NHS, you need to be registered as an NHS patient at a medical centre and be assigned to a Scottish General Practitioner.
After registration, you would be given a medical card that contains your personal National Insurance Number(NIN). Your NIN is the unique identification number that allows you to benefit from health insurance.
A General Practitioner is a general practice doctor that treats acute and chronic illnesses and provides preventive care services and also refers patients to hospitals or other medical centres for specialist treatment.
While the NHS has a lot of benefits, there are still some downsides to it. The NHS has been faced with some challenges majorly due to underfunding. One of them is long waiting lists meaning that you may not get treatment as soon as you may want it and your choices are limited.
Services Provided By National Health Service In Dumfries
The National Health Service in Dumfries offers comprehensive health coverage to every individual within the county.
From GP appointments and consultations to hospital treatments and stays, surgery and ambulance rides, the NHS provides free and full coverage.
Some healthcare services offered by the National Health Service include
- Dental tests
- Eye tests
- Free prescriptions
- consultations/ medical advice from your general practitioner(GP)
- Local pharmacies
- sexual health services and contraception advice
- Maternity services
- Treatment with a specialist when referred by your GP
Services not covered by NHS in Dumfries
Although the NHS provides coverage for most health care needs, some services carry a charge( a regulated amount). These services include:
- Dental Treatment
- Eye treatment( i.e glasses and contact lenses)
- Travel vaccinations
Other Health Services Offered By Public healthcare
Not all cases require you to book appointments with your general practitioner. There are some minor health conditions that can be solved without seeing a doctor. In Dumfries, certain provisions have been made for events like these. They include;
Pharmacists are trained professionals that can give sound medical advice on minor health conditions like stomach aches, minor burns, and sore throats that do not require a prescription from a doctor.
- The Helpline
You can call the helpline, NHS 111 whenever you have a pressing medical condition that is not life-threatening where you get to speak to a trained advisor that will give you instructions on what to do next.
- Sexual health services, as well as contraception, are free in Dumfries. You can always visit any sexual health centre to get tested for STIs and contraception advice.
Private Health Service In Dumfries
Although many residents in Dumfries prefer the public health service, some individuals opt for private health.
Some major reasons are that with private health you get to access health care services faster unlike public healthcare, you have more control over the treatment you get and in some cases, health insurance is offered by a company as a benefits package.
However, if you choose to purchase private health insurance, have in mind that it is expensive and your premium costs are affected by certain factors. This service type differs greatly from public health in that public health does not consider any factor in the administration of care.
Some Factors Affecting Health Insurance Costs In Dumfries
Private health insurance, sometimes called medical insurance, is a great way to access health services but the premiums you pay are determined by certain factors.
These factors include:
Generally, private health care providers use age as a determinant. Age is directly proportional to the amount you pay on premium. It’s been observed that older people tend to need healthcare services more and are more likely to lay claims on their insurance to cover their medical costs. So health insurance premiums increase steadily as you age.
Past Medical History
Your medical history determines if you’d pay less or more on health premiums. Health providers in Dumfries require clients to declare their past medical history.
They charge individuals with pre-existing records of chronic illnesses more because they are more likely to suffer from such again. On the other hand, individuals with a clean record pay less.
Although sad, it’s true that your postcode/location affects your premium costs. The particular area you are in Dumfries can affect how much you pay.
Other factors include body mass index(BMI), profession, family history and lifestyle factors( smoking and drinking)
Services Offered By Private Health Providers In Dumfries
Private health insurance mostly provides coverage for sudden health conditions that have a limited-term for treatment, not chronic or severe health conditions.
Also, health insurance policies do not cover pre-existing medical conditions.In Dumfries, private health insurance covers the following healthcare services;
- Quick access to scans, diagnoses and treatments
- Consultations with specialists
- Surgical procedures
- Private general practice
- Vaccinations and travel service
- Clinical psychology
- Fitness packages and health checks
- Dietician services
Some Private Health Providers In Dumfries
- Allied Healthcare
- D G M H A
- Guardian Response Limited
- Lochthorn Medical Centre
Depending on your needs, preferences and risk factors, you can access the two ways of getting health insurance and decide which is best for you. Public health care is by far the most affordable but if you choose to purchase private health, there are many comparison sites online to help you select the best policies at the lowest prices.