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08 | 07 | 22
07 | 22

What should you consider when choosing a hospital in Australia?

OSHCstudents – There are lots of things to take into consideration when choosing a hospital, and some of it can be quite confusing. We will make it easier for you by this article.

Some of things you may want to look into include:

  • How urgently do you need the treatment?
  • How far is the hospital from your home or work?
  • Did a family member or friend recommend it?
  • How much does your specialist, and the hospital charge?
  • Where does your specialist work?
  • Does your health insurer have a contract with the hospital that could provide you other benefits and help keep your costs down?
  • Will your insurer cover part or all of your treatment costs, or should you consider being treated in a public hospital?

Below we investigate some of these options, and explore what they might mean to you.

How urgently do you need the treatment?

If you need urgent treatment, such as in an emergency, a public hospital will often be the best place to treat you. If you have a medical emergency, please call 000 or visit your local emergency department (also known as the ED, emergency room, or ER).

Some private hospitals have emergency departments. The waiting list may be shorter, but unless you are admitted to that hospital, you will have to pay for most services they provide you. Medicare may cover some of the cost of diagnosing your condition (eg. tests and scans), but most of the costs generally aren’t covered by Medicare or private health insurance.

Where is the hospital?

Depending on your health condition, and the treatment you may need, where a hospital is, and how quickly you can get to it, may be an important factor to consider.

This could be particularly important if you need emergency treatment, if you’re pregnant, or to access support from friends or family nearby.

What facilities does it provide?

All hospitals are slightly different, and you may have particular preferences, or additional care needs that require a specific facility. It’s worth discussing this with your specialist, or you can call the hospital directly to find out what options are available and if they’ll be available during your stay.

Where can your specialist treat you?

A lot of specialists will practice in more than one hospital, so speak to them about this before choosing your hospital. Depending on what is important to you in your hospital choice, it might even be a consideration you make in choosing your specialist.

What costs are involved?

There are a number of things that might make up the cost of your hospital stay, so we’ll try and break them down simply.

Medical costs: The fees charged by a surgeon, physician, anaesthetist, or other medical specialist when they are treating you in hospital.

Hospital costs: Charges related to staying in the actual hospital such as the use of the bed, food and operating theatre, plus nursing and allied health services.

Pharmacy costs: The cost of prescribed medication provided to you, or purchased by you, for treatment of your condition. This includes pharmaceuticals listed on the Australian Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Schedule (PBS), and, in some cases, non-PBS ‘High Cost Drugs’.

Prostheses costs: The cost of things that are surgically implanted like artificial hips or knees or cardiac devices such as pacemakers, and stay implanted when you leave hospital.

As a public patient, these costs are covered by Medicare.

You are international students or foreigners arrive to Australia, or Australian citizens traveling abroad who are looking for OSHC, OVHC, travel insurance, please contact OSHCstudents Team at email: info@oshcstudents.com and our partners for further information and assistance.

OSHCstudents (Source: Bupa)

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Baek Ah Yeon | University of Queensland

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Xiaoyu Cheng | Monash University

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