OSHCstudents-Hospital stays for elective or non-urgent treatments can usually be offered through either a public or private hospital. But how can you decide which is the better choice for you? We take a look at the main differences between our public and private hospitals.
How does the private and public healthcare system in Australia work?
The healthcare system in Australia consists of both government and privately funded services. Medicare is a government-funded system and everyone with a current Medicare number can be admitted free of charge as a public patient in a public hospital for treatment deemed clinically necessary. Medicare holders also have a part, or all, of the costs of seeing a GP or specialist subsidized (called bulk-billing), as well as the cost of some approved medications through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
In addition to these public services, there are a number of privately run hospitals and centers that do not receive the same funding from Medicare and therefore charge patients directly for services. Taking out private health insurance can help cover some of the costs of being treated in a privately run facility.
What is the difference between a public and private hospital?
If you opt to be treated in a private hospital, you will generally have more choices about the care you receive. This can include choosing which doctor treats you and electing a certain type of treatment for a condition. You will usually have a shorter wait time for your treatment, and while in hospital you are more likely to be given a private room and other optional extras that could make your stay more comfortable.
If your private health insurance includes Hospital coverage, it will most likely help fund some of your costs during a private hospital stay, although it may not cover all costs. It is a good idea to check with your insurer or read your PDS and other policy documentation to understand what excess (the amount you pay your insurer when you make a claim) and out-of-pocket expenses you may need to pay for your particular treatment.
Public hospitals in Australia are typically considered to be of a high standard with highly trained medical professionals and world-leading facilities. In fact, according to Health Direct, they may have better medical facilities than private hospitals “and are usually equipped to handle more complex cases”, which generally involves treating those with multiple conditions or chronic illnesses.
Assuming it’s deemed medically necessary, the care you receive in a public hospital will be free of charge, although you may have to wait longer for elective surgeries, which is a term used for surgeries that are not conducted as a result of an emergency presentation but still medically necessary and may even be required urgently.
If you are international students, foreigners arriving to Australia, or Australian citizens traveling abroad looking for OSHC, OVHC, travel insurance, please contact OSHCstudents Team at email: firstname.lastname@example.org and our partners for further information and assistance.