People in academic roles across schools, colleges and universities face a number of sector-specific challenges. Teachers and lecturers work long and sometimes unsociable hours, often taking their labours home with them at the end of the day.
Planning lessons and marking students' work can be stressful, and that's before considering pressures caused by class sizes, curriculum changes, funding shortages and league table performance. Training providers and assessors also contend with similar burdens.
Theirs is a highly competitive industry, heavily influenced by constant technological change. Planning fresh content and marking results, while always striving for increased customer retention, can be demanding to say the least.
As a result, educators can end up in a vulnerable position compared to others when it comes to health and wellbeing. This article by Russell Stephens examines the reasons why educators should consider taking out a private health insurance policy to safeguard their physical and mental fitness.
The NHS is a national treasure
The NHS is a national treasure, and for good reason. By providing excellent healthcare, free at the point of use, almost everyone in the UK can be reassured that they will receive timely diagnosis and treatment should they become unwell.
However, with the NHS increasingly struggling to meet high demand, delays and queues are sometimes inevitable. Unfortunately, when you're unwell, uncertainty around waiting times for tests and procedures can add to the stresses associated with taking time off work to recover.
Complementing traditional NHS coverage with private health insurance can provide extra peace of mind for those working in education, with a range of relevant advantages.
Speed and flexibility of treatment
As a national service, the NHS provides a wide range of treatments for a large amount of people. Consequently, cases are seen based on severity, creating waiting lines to see a doctor if your condition is less urgent or life-threatening. Working to an unusual schedule can make booking viable appointment times more difficult and organising your calendar while unwell certainly doesn't help with recovery.
An often-cited benefit of private health insurance is the reduced waiting times on offer, enabling quicker access to diagnosis and treatment. The flexible scheduling available with private health providers also helps with accommodating any restrictions around sick leave and term timetables.
Access to specialist care
In addition to faster diagnosis and treatment of your illness, private healthcare can often lead to greater access to specialist medicines and procedures. These may be treatments which aren't widely available on the NHS or are relatively new to the market. Having access to more targeted, effective treatments can lead to significantly improved recovery times.
Personal space and privacy in hospital
Hospitals often place restrictions on visiting hours due to the complexities of treating and caring for a significant number of patients. Unfortunately, these limits can reduce the amount of time patients have to spend in private or with friends and loved ones.
With private medical insurance, you will have your very own room during any stay in hospital. You will have more privacy, while friends and family can visit without worry, allowing you to rest and recuperate more effectively.
Additional support and therapies
Private health insurance policies often provide a wider range of care options for specific conditions, including extensive cancer care treatments.
As well as additional medicines, you may also benefit from access to treatments such as physiotherapy, osteopathy and chiropractic. Private health insurance can help to cover the cost of these therapies – an invaluable resource that can alleviate stress when you are facing a serious illness.
Extras and benefits
Many private health insurers offer added discounts and complementary extras with their policies. These will naturally differ between each policy and provider, but many serve up an extensive range of freebies and bonuses to incentivise healthy living, making some policies more valuable and worthwhile depending on the benefits on offer.
Educators and training providers can improve their medical treatment with private health insurance. It is nevertheless advisable to compare and contrast insurance companies based on their coverage, treatment options and selection of benefits on offer.
Russell Stephens, Deputy Chief Executive, CS Healthcare
About CS Healthcare: A private health insurance provider offering a wealth of relevant experience through working with education sector professionals for over 85 years. CS Healthcare members benefit from award-winning customer service, partnerships with over 300 top hospitals, and a range of benefits and discount schemes including access to a 24-hour health advice line and much more.