Finding the right doctor you can trust or medical treatment can be frustrating when you develop chronic illnesses. If you are considering private healthcare, we spoke to the experts at Alivia Swiss Health Management to explain what exactly is private healthcare management and if it’s right for you.
How can private medical management help those suffering with chronic illnesses?
Each private health management company will be different, but if a new client came to Alivia and were suffering with a chronic illness we would do the following:
Collect all their medical files and have our internal team review them.
Based on the information we have gathered from the files, our research team would scour the world for a leading global specialist to offer an opinion on the individuals’ diagnosis and ongoing care.
In conjunction with point two, we would also research advanced medical technologies and treatments to see if there was anything new available that could benefit the patient.
Following on from here, the client would be assigned a Personal Health Manager who would be tasked co-ordinating and organising between the multiple doctors, practitioners and other parties that are normally involved in someone’s care. This organisational aspect can sometimes be undervalued, but those who have experienced a serious illness will know that it can be very difficult to get doctors and other practitioners to talk to one and other! Aside from the logistics, the Personal Health Manager is also there as a friendly face or voice at the end of the phone should there be any questions or queries.
For someone looking into private medical treatment, what factors should they look for to find the right care?
If someone is considering private medical treatment, they should first consult a doctor to see if they actually require it. Assuming someone does not have insurance, the first consideration needs to be cost. Is it affordable? It may even be possible on the NHS without incurring a fee. Finally, the main point to take into consideration is that hospitals don’t treat people, doctors do. Try to find the best doctor/specialist you can and don’t worry too much about finding a great hospital or treatment centre. The best doctors don’t always reside in the flashy hospitals.
See also: The Benefits of Private Healthcare
Can you give some examples of how private medical management has helped in certain situations?
We recently had a case where a client came to us to help them find a second opinion. The patient had sinus cancer, a rare and intrusive illness. She was recommended by her doctor (a private healthcare practitioner) to have an operation to remove the tumour, which meant removing her right eye. Alivia reviewed her files then began the research. We found an incredible specialist in London who was highly specialised and had recently completed a research study proving that in this instance, operating would have little or no curative or palliative benefit to the illness. Alivia were able to help the individual by preventing a very serious and life changing operation that was not necessary.
Why would someone consider private medical management compared to other healthcare systems?
The only other healthcare systems available are health insurance, and NHS. The NHS is fantastic, a British institution that benefits so many. But sadly it is bulking under pressure, and largely underfunded. Health insurance is excellent too, but it can have restrictive pre-existing illness conditions, the insurers often work within a finite network of hospitals and also it does not always offer the most cutting edge medical treatment available.
Private medical management allows individuals complete impartiality with focus solely on the absolute best possible medical outcome without limitations or closed networks.
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I have chronic headaches that have been dismissed as tension headaches by my doctor, but I feel that there could be more of an issue since cancer runs in my family, what would you advise?
We never make medical recommendations exclusively and certainly not without viewing medical records. We connect individuals to the best specialists in the world so they can offer the benefit of their expertise instead. If a client came to us with this complaint, we would initially suggest that the client went to see another doctor on the NHS to get another opinion. If after that appointment the client still had concerns, we would request any medical files and symptoms and conduct the research to find the person our team believed to be the best specialist to be able to offer a consultation to the client. Hopefully this would lead to a resolution of the problem.
When should someone consider getting a second opinion after diagnosis from their doctor?
Considering a second opinion is entirely the person’s prerogative. There is no wrong answer here. Most seek second opinions when they are no longer comfortable with the direction of their care. Sometimes they feel a breakdown of trust with their doctor, sometimes they don’t like the treatment plan proposed. However, we are seeing more and more enquiries coming from people who just feel it is right to do due diligence by double checking that their illness is being dealt with correctly. Where health is involved, it is always good to take extra care and double check.
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