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Confused about how health insurance works

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2 hours ago, Marisawright said:

So, while I'm sure there are long waiting lists in the public system for some things, it's by no means true for everything.

It varies tremendously between different areas in Australia so  it's important to check the situation in one's own area if having to make the choice between going public or private.  Two years ago I had my gall bladder removed.  At the public hospital there was a minimum 5 month waiting list...and then no guarantee...it could be longer.  As it was excruciatingly painful  I was very glad I had the option of choosing private.  A friend of mine was referred to a gynaecologist in the public system for constant and excessive bleeding.  It took 2 months before she could get even  an appointment with him ....and another 18 months before a hysterectomy.  It affected her life so badly that she had to resign from her job.   Currently in Hobart there is a minimum 6 month wait for a colonoscopy in the public system.  That could mean the difference between a cure and death if bowel cancer is detected.

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4 minutes ago, The Pom Queen said:

It’s the time frame that can be for ages. An example being I was referred by a private specialist to a Professor who is based at the PAH and is the only one in Australia who can help  that’s because he studied overseas and although he isn’t fully versed with my condition as it’s rare (Without going in to too much detail my organs are shutting down so I have different specialists for each part and then one overall specialist who organises everything) he is the only one who has any knowledge at all. Now I’ve seen him twice and I’ve now been waiting to see him since January, now don’t get me wrong I’ve had to cancel multiple appointments with him as I’ve been in my own hospital, but it’s around 3 - 4 months between each new date, which for my condition is a long time.

 I suppose it really depends what’s wrong with you. Hubby and my sons are on the policy it’s a family policy and since we took it out there is only Rob who has used it once and the boys never.

 

My problem very minor compared to yours, and far better infrastructure here than Qld 

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15 minutes ago, Skani said:

It varies tremendously between different areas in Australia so  it's important to check the situation in one's own area if having to make the choice between going public or private.  Two years ago I had my gall bladder removed.  At the public hospital there was a minimum 5 month waiting list...and then no guarantee...it could be longer.  As it was excruciatingly painful  I was very glad I had the option of choosing private.  A friend of mine was referred to a gynaecologist in the public system for constant and excessive bleeding.  It took 2 months before she could get even  an appointment with him ....and another 18 months before a hysterectomy.  It affected her life so badly that she had to resign from her job.   Currently in Hobart there is a minimum 6 month wait for a colonoscopy in the public system.  That could mean the difference between a cure and death if bowel cancer is detected.

It sure does.  I had my gall bladder out in a public hospital in Sydney.  After the scan I had a wait of only a month before it was removed.  You are right though - it's very painful.  I thought I was having a heart attack.  😶  I also had a problem similar to your friend.  Went to GP.  Went for a scan the next day and I was in Latrobe (public) hospital for treatment the next week.

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1 hour ago, Skani said:

It varies tremendously between different areas in Australia so  it's important to check the situation in one's own area if having to make the choice between going public or private.  Two years ago I had my gall bladder removed.  At the public hospital there was a minimum 5 month waiting list...and then no guarantee...it could be longer.  As it was excruciatingly painful  I was very glad I had the option of choosing private.  A friend of mine was referred to a gynaecologist in the public system for constant and excessive bleeding.  It took 2 months before she could get even  an appointment with him ....and another 18 months before a hysterectomy.  It affected her life so badly that she had to resign from her job.   Currently in Hobart there is a minimum 6 month wait for a colonoscopy in the public system.  That could mean the difference between a cure and death if bowel cancer is detected.

It sure does. I’ve had both those procedures mentioned and in Canberra I was told there would be an 18 month wait for gall bladder removal (I paid for it within 4 weeks and that was because he was the best surgeon around) and my wonderful gynaecologist said that I would never have got to the top of the waiting list for a hysterectomy although my reasons, in the same way as your friend, would have rendered me suicidal before too long! (She was amazing, it was done within 2 weeks) I saw on the front page of the Canberra Times recently, the waiting list for urology was 6 years!!! Fortunately here in  Cambridge my dad got a urology specialist appointment within 6 days and was well on the road to recovery after a minor op within 6 weeks (and that included Christmas!). My uncle had a carpal tunnel op within a couple of months that I would, again, never have got to the top of the list for in Canberra. 

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4 hours ago, Toots said:

  You are right though - it's very painful.  I thought I was having a heart attack.  😶 

Me too!  The first attack I had I rang the ambulance...not the 000 number, but I thought I should check...and they did send the ambulance to get me.

Quote

 I also had a problem similar to your friend.  Went to GP.  Went for a scan the next day and I was in Latrobe (public) hospital for treatment the next week.

Crazy, isn't it?  Same state...but she was in Hobart...and it took her 20 months from GP to operation.  She obviously should have gone to Devonport - she's a born and bred northwest coaster, so all the right credentials.  😀

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On 04/09/2018 at 17:42, Toots said:

I had my gall bladder out in a public hospital in Sydney.  After the scan I had a wait of only a month before it was removed.  

Waiting times for public health are based on need.

We have private health insurance (against my better judgement). My wife was admitted to hospital with internal pain and as it was an emergency it was public. It was gall stones - the gall bladder was out within 48 hours and we didn't pay a penny and nor did the health fund - all paid by taxpayers. I think this stuff about private health insurance is just scaremongering. In my experience, very little is covered by private, there are huge gap fees to pay and if you do get really sick, you'll probably lose your job and no longer be able to afford private health care anyway. Most health care costs are incurred in the last year of your life. 


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5 hours ago, Quinkla said:

Waiting times for public health are based on need.

We have private health insurance (against my better judgement). My wife was admitted to hospital with internal pain and as it was an emergency it was public. It was gall stones - the gall bladder was out within 48 hours and we didn't pay a penny and nor did the health fund - all paid by taxpayers. I think this stuff about private health insurance is just scaremongering. In my experience, very little is covered by private, there are huge gap fees to pay and if you do get really sick, you'll probably lose your job and no longer be able to afford private health care anyway. Most health care costs are incurred in the last year of your life. 

Agree 100%.  

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