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Had it now! thinking about BUPA?

Hi all Had numerous symptoms mimicking m.s or similar. I am undiagnosed and have still ongoing symptoms including a bout of optic neuritis recently. MRI is inconclusive, and I can barely walk, its almost like I’m swaggering everywhere. Due to much unhappiness I considering private health care. Im based in u.k. has anyone else decided to go private and was this better at all? Thank you

Hi, I was investigated and diagnosed on BUPA, because I had health insurance through work. The chief advantage is speed - virtually no waiting lists. And I was seen in a nicer hospital, with unlimited free coffee, and the coffee was actually nice! BUT they do exactly the same tests and investigations, and have exactly the same diagnostic criteria as the NHS. I even had the exact same neuro I now have on the NHS (most of them do both!) Paying a lot of money will NOT get you different answers from the same evidence - i.e. inconclusive MRI - because they have the same evidential standards. If the NHS don’t think your MRI conclusively demonstrates MS, the BUPA neuro - who is quite likely to be the SAME person, or one of his colleagues - probably won’t either. BUPA don’t automatically have better or more powerful MRI scanners, so even if they repeated the scan (several hundred pounds on top of the consultation fee of a couple of hundred), there’s no guarantee it would show anything different at all, or provide any better answers. If you want to spend all that money because they’ve got nice sofas in the waiting room, and fresh coffee, go ahead, but throwing money at it doesn’t solve all problems - particularly if it’s a lack of clinical evidence. You can’t be diagnosed while the evidence still falls short, no matter who’s doing the diagnosing. I took eight months to be diagnosed, even on BUPA, and that was with fairly clear MRI evidence right from the start. They couldn’t diagnose immediately (I only understood this later, after much time on this board), because the diagnostic criteria STILL say you’ve got to wait until there’s a second episode and/or new evidence on MRI, otherwise it doesn’t satisfy the definition of “multiple”, and might still be a one-off. Hope this helps, Tina

I completely agree with Anitra with what she said above, but from the pharmacists at my work when they’ve needed treatment and get work related private cover, they only get seen quicker and that’s just about it.

I wish you luck xx

I also have BUPA through work, but my experience has not been great. For a start my awful neuro, like many others, works privately and for the NHS and i would have got him either way. Waiting times are shorter I agree but having said that it’s taken over 6 months for me to get referred for the correct tests. One of the best things about private health care is that if you do need to stay in hospital at all, private hospitals and staff are much nicer in my opinion.

I agree with Anita too, I was at the hospital for something else and when I got annoyed and looking into going private, I found out it would have been the same consultant as I would see on the NHS! Also, if you’re already having something investigated, it might be that BUPA will exclude that issue from the policy?

Sonia x

Sometimes bupa won’t cover preexisting conditions/problems depending on your plan so you would have to check that if you got cover they would then see you for this as you have already had investigation Axx

I’d assumed the poster was talking about pay-as-you go, rather than taking out a policy. Although most people fund private healthcare through an existing policy, there’s nothing to stop you just walking up and paying. Then there are no exclusions, because you can have whatever you’re willing and able to pay for. I agree a new policy taken out now probably wouldn’t cover any neurological problem anyway. So self-funding would be the only option. Tina

Hi

I went private for my first consultation with a neuro it cost 280 pounds which I paid myself so I could choose any neuro at any private hospital, might be worth finding a neuro you want to see and paying for a second opinion just for piece of mind.

Best wishes

Noms

I’m London based and I requested to see a Prof at the National Hospital of Neurology for a 3rd opinion. You are allowed to request a consultant if you are London based. Not sure about outside of London. If I were you I’d head to the National Hospital of Neurology as its the leading one in the country in the field. Like the others say though - if nothing is showing it still might be a long wait for a diagnosis. I’ve had desperate times (been sick for 2 1/2yrs) but have waited for appointments on the nhs - it would hav\e costed a fortune otherwise! The only thing I went privately for was the autonomic testing at the National as the wait is over 12 months!

I’m London based and I requested to see a Prof at the National Hospital of Neurology for a 3rd opinion. You are allowed to request a consultant if you are London based. Not sure about outside of London. If I were you I’d head to the National Hospital of Neurology as its the leading one in the country in the field. Like the others say though - if nothing is showing it still might be a long wait for a diagnosis. I’ve had desperate times (been sick for 2 1/2yrs) but have waited for appointments on the nhs - it would hav\e costed a fortune otherwise! The only thing I went privately for was the autonomic testing at the National as the wait is over 12 months!

I have private healthcare with Bupa, and I agree that it’s quicker. I was referred by my GP, and got seen within a week or so, then had my MRI the next day, and my followup is another week, so yes, very quickly. Things aren’t bigger and better, just quicker.

you can also choose your own neruologist outside of London, and it’s up to you which hospital you go to. I used a neuro who also works for the NHS at my local hospital, but the waiting list is 10 weeks ish.

If you want a second opinion, then you can take your scans etc to a neuro of your choice. I have a personal Bupa plan, but I’ve seen the cost of my neuro when I signed the info to send to bupa. £150 for each consult, and then about £700 for an MRI.

Hope that helps

x