Public vs Private Hospitals: Which is Better?
Australia has the Medicare system which provides universal access to emergency services. But the system doesn’t cover everything. You’re on your own when it comes to glasses, cosmetic dentistry and hearing aids. You’re also excluded from Private hospitals. But how good is the care you get in private hospitals, especially now that you can pay for better care in public hospitals?
Quality of Care
In general, quality of care is pretty similar. Only private hospitals will give you the choice of who does your procedure and which specialists treat you. You can also choose the facilities that have more experience and better overall outcomes for your procedure.
Wait times have doubled since 2000 for elective procedures. One of the biggest benefits of health insurance is that you don’t have to wait weeks or months for public facilities to schedule your procedure. More importantly, you can choose when and where the procedure is done and on what day. You won’t wait as long for blood test results or the specialist’s second opinion. Note that private healthcare doesn’t stop you from using public hospitals in an emergency, but you will free up resources that improve performance of the public healthcare system.
Range of Services
Public hospitals don’t pay for everything. For example, some states don’t provide ambulance coverage, and Medicare won’t cover physiotherapy and alternative therapies. So one benefit of using a private hospital, is the fact that one facility should be able to cover all your needs and offer one single billing process. You take the ambulance to the hospital. You undergo the procedure. Whether you use massage or aromatherapy for pain management is your decision. It could be done at the same facility that did the procedure, so your rehabilitation is supervised by the medical professionals who oversaw it. If you had a heart attack or triple heart bypass, your cardiovascular rehabilitation is at a top-notch facility where you have access to the doctors of your choice. There is no fear of being told to wait to get care, receive a second opinion or address potential complications. You can get expert advice on dietary or lifestyle choices to improve your overall outcomes and you won’t be discharged from the hospital and left to arrange aftercare for yourself.