But there are other options you can consider. These include contacting one of the private medical companies eager to take your money in return for a health test.
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Alternatively, you might be able to take advantage of company cover or private medical insurance to cover the costs. Get a national health service check. The free NHS test is aimed at helping people avoid key illnesses such as heart disease, a stroke, kidney complaints and diabetes. The first step is to contact your local doctor and ask if they can give you the check-up. It might mean waiting up to five years if you are still only 40, so bear this in mind. You can also visit nhs. The scheme is controlled by local councils, so contact yours if you are struggling to find help. The health MOT involves up to half an hour with a doctor and a quiz about your lifestyle and family history, taking blood pressure and a blood sample.
Findings give an indication of risk of heart disease, a stroke, kidney disease and diabetes. You will also get practical lifestyle guidance such as how to improve your diet and useful fitness regimes. The scheme has its critics. According to health watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence Nice , encouraging people to cut down on alcohol and cigarette consumption and taking up a sport offers better value for money.
This would potentially save , lives a year. The NHS also offers free health screenings for a variety of conditions, including abdominal aortic aneurysms, bowel cancer, breast cancer and cervical cancer, as well as blood disorders such as sickle-cell trait. For details of eligibility and conditions, visit gov. If you do not qualify for an NHS health check or are struggling to find one where you live, then a private health check-up can be a practical solution.
This costs money but if it spots potential problems or helps you live a healthier lifestyle, it can provide excellent value.
The quality of care is comparable to that of the NHS. But by paying, you bypass lengthy queues and get a check-up specifically tailored to your health demands and the size of your wallet.
Here, The Mail on Sunday lists a variety of offers on the market. It is worth checking out their websites and contacting them directly for more specific information and details of local clinics.
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Includes blood pressure test for heart disease risk and checks for liver, kidney and diabetes risk. The basic service includes a lifestyle and stress indicator, while the comprehensive check-up is two-and-a-half hours with cancer tests and a clinical examination. The company breaks check-ups into a number of tests that can be done at home and then posted for analysis without meeting a nurse or doctor. This includes full doctor analysis of blood, a cervical smear, analysis of stools and healthier living advice.
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Money well spent if you heed any warnings that are given. Save through work or medical cover. Private medical insurance will secure you a discount of at least 10 per cent off a health MOT. But with healthcare costs rising by 8 per cent a year, the price of insurance is rising. This will be exacerbated further by a 12 per cent insurance premium tax kicking in from June it is currently 10 per cent. But if you are fortunate, your employer may offer cover as a work benefit. The Association of Medical Insurers and Intermediaries can help with advice on finding a competitive private medical insurance deal.
Some providers, such as VitalityHealth, might charge less if you have a gym membership as it suggests to them that you look after yourself. There is no need to spend money on an expert if you know you have problems with weight, fitness or alcohol. You will not go far wrong if you do at least two and a half hours of fast walking a week and an hour a week of vigorous exercise.
Cut down on snacking and sugary foods and ensure you eat plenty of oily fish plus lots of fruit and vegetables. Keep alcohol down to just half a dozen pints of beer or glasses of wine a week. You do not have to just call your doctor. Your local pharmacy can be a wealth of knowledge and offer practical advice on health concerns. They also sell kits for those who want to know more about their medical condition. Anyone aged between 40 and 74 is eligible for an NHS health check. There are also other free screening programmes.
Further details can be found through website gov.
V isit the doctor. The average waiting time to see your local GP is just under two weeks. But more than 80 per cent of us find a visit to the doctor is worthwhile and leaves us feeling we have been treated with care and concern. Seek a private medical insurance discount. When considering a health screening, you should ask whether your employer will offer financial help.
Medical research from Imperial College London confirms that an apple a day helps with good health. But ten portions of fruit and vegetables a day are what we are now told to consume to lower our chances of heart disease by a quarter and of suffering a stroke by a third. Ignorance is no excuse when it comes to improving your lifestyle. Some links in this article may be affiliate links.
If you click on them we may earn a small commission. That helps us fund This Is Money, and keep it free to use.
We do not write articles to promote products. We do not allow any commercial relationship to affect our editorial independence. The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline.
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