In life-and-death situations, you simply cannot choose to go to a private hospital if it is several miles away when there is a public hospital just around the corner, and vice versa. The prevailing view is that private hospitals provide better care, with the range of facilities they have. In some parts of the world, public hospitals are preferred because of affordability of services.
How are they different? And does it really matter when they provide the same basic services?
Ownership and Organisational Focus
The main difference between public and private hospitals is in the ownership, which boils down to their overall aim as an organisation. Private hospitals in Kent are owned by individuals, a group or even corporations, with the aim of providing quality healthcare services but with a significant return on their investment. Profit, whether they admit it or not, is one of the driving forces for the existence of private hospitals.
Public hospitals, on the other hand, are owned and operated by the government. As such, profit is never an aim. The focus is the provision of basic or fundamental health services that should be available to anyone in the general population.
Because private hospitals need to register profits, no matter how small they are, the costs of healthcare are significantly higher than in public hospitals. While some services in public hospitals can be charged with a fee, the amount pales in comparison to the ones charged by private hospitals. Furthermore, most of the services in public healthcare institutions are free of charge.
Private hospitals are perceived to provide better and more comprehensive healthcare services. Owners of private hospitals know that patients are paying and that they expect some form of value in the kind of service they have paid for.
Closely related to better healthcare services as a direct result of the payments from patients, private hospitals need to invest in better technology to provide value. Public hospitals, whenever they can, also try to upgrade their services, facilities and equipment, but this is largely dependent on government budget.
Technically, if you require healthcare service that is very basic and you would not mind the queue, public hospitals are a better choice. However, if you require a more complex service and you expect nothing less than the best service and facilities, a private hospital will be a better option. Nonetheless, in life-and-death situations, it really does not matter which hospital you choose. Both will provide the same fundamental emergency services for you.