How much does a BUPA health check cost and what is included?

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Patients across Tayside and Fife are increasingly looking to private health services as the NHS struggles to meet demand.

As wait times for surgeries and routine tests continue to increase, some independent healthcare companies are reporting “double-digit growth” in demand for PAYG family doctor services.

And even those who are “concerned” turn to private healthcare companies such as Bupa for check-ups and advice.

But what if you go private for a health assessment, can it be done on-site and how much does it cost?

To find out, I booked a health assessment with Bupa.

My health assessment included physical activity, blood work, bowel work, and time with a GP.

Where do you go for a private health assessment?

There are Bupa clinics in Aberdeen and Edinburgh, or you can book a home health check video call if you are unable to travel.

Anyone can book on a pay-as-you-go basis, you don’t need to be a Bupa member.

I went to Spire Murrayfield Hospital in Edinburgh for the Bupa Lifestyle and Health Assessment.

But there are private health clinics in Tayside that offer similar tests and services. And private patients are also cared for by local specialists from cardiology to psychology.

BUPA’s Be.Me app shows your health profile based on your questionnaire responses prior to your consultation.

Before the appointment, I completed a Bupa online questionnaire about my lifestyle, exercise, health issues and mental well-being.

This gives patients a snapshot of their health before the full report of test results arrives.

What happens at the health check?

I found the health assessment very thorough and professional.

First, I spent an hour with a nurse who explained each test, the reason for each, and what the results could mean. Then it was time for the exams:

  • Blood tests – for type 2 diabetes, anemia and cholesterol.
    Having suffered from anemia in the past – and feeling tired at times, I was interested in knowing the results.
  • Body fat percentage – this was calculated by a small device attached to my arm.
  • Measured height and weight – to assess BMI.
  • blood pressure checked.
  • Colon exam – I was given a stool sample kit to take home and return.
  • Flexibility and Mobility – I was asked to do various exercises (standing on both legs with eyes closed, squats, rotation, etc.).
Mobility and flexibility tests included standing on one leg,

I’m a relatively active person, so I didn’t think the flexibility and balance tests would be that challenging. Health experts say the ability to stand on one leg with your eyes closed for 15 seconds or more is now considered an indicator of longevity.

But it’s not as easy as it sounds! I was able to do it on the right leg but not the left – which opened my eyes to how fit I consider myself to be compared to reality.

times at the family doctor

The nurse was fantastic, caring and professional. He inquired about my life, my physical and mental well-being, how I was feeling in general and if I needed any support.

I then had an hour with a GP to discuss any health concerns and undergo a general medical exam. If necessary, breast examinations and swabs are also possible.

The GP was excellent, fully answering my questions and advising me. She also offered me to write to my own GP for further treatment if needed.

The Bupa GP gave me good advice during my consultation.

Having not seen a GP since before the pandemic, I was surprised at how valuable — and reassuring — I found our conversation.

The results

I was surprised that my results were emailed to me within 48 hours.

The easy-to-read but very comprehensive report provided normal ranges for each test, my own readings, and any additional actions required.

Many results were in traffic light form, showing which areas of my health were okay and where I could improve.

Body fat and cholesterol, for example, were higher than I expected and advice was given on how to improve this.

The result of my poo sample came back within a week and I’m happy to say it was a relief to hear it was ok.

Each assessment and report is tailored to the individual, so even those with existing health conditions can receive unique advice or follow-up care.

How much is it?

The evaluation I had included a physical exam and time with a GP, full results report, action plan with recommendations, follow-up call and access to a 24/7 health hotline.

It costs £725 for a two-hour review. Health checks by video call to a GP cost £289. In the broader market, private health and fitness screening prices start at around £500.

If you’re looking for a private consultation with a local GP with no tests, these start at around £100.

Was the privatization worth the price?

I’m fortunate to have health insurance that includes the annual health checkup so I didn’t have to be pay-as-you-go.

And there’s no doubt that £725 is a sizable investment in your health.

Of course, the tests won’t make you well – and the NHS offers some of these tests. But I have to admit that getting some reassurance from blood tests, cholesterol levels, a medical exam, and talking to a GP has helped calm my health anxiety.

I would say if your health is troubling you and you are looking for support quickly then going private could be a worthwhile investment for quick results.

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