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Articles Insurance Why have private hospital cover when there’s a good public system?
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Why have private hospital cover when there’s a good public system?

“Why should I bother with private health insurance when there’s a good public system?”

Health Partners CEO Byron Gregory explains the crucial role that private hospitals play in Australia’s health system.

Why have private hospital cover?

The truth is, our private hospitals play a crucial role in Australia’s health system, performing two-thirds of non-emergency surgery in Australia.

Without private health insurance, our public hospitals would be under even greater pressure, and the wait for care would be even longer.

In an emergency situation, public hospitals provide quality medical care to people with access to Medicare, and in this situation this is where most of us would go, whether we’re privately covered or not.

When it comes to situations that aren’t life-threatening (for example, cataract surgery, or knee and hip replacements to name a few), as a public patient you could be left feeling very dissatisfied with the lack of choice, convenience and flexibility.

Private health insurance pays for close to two-thirds of non-emergency surgery in Australia

75% of retinal procedures

53% of all mental health care admissions

57% of joint replacements

57% of chemotherapy

Private health insurance puts the power and decision making in your hands.

Right now in South Australia, we have more than 17,500 people on elective surgery waiting lists in public hospitals. That’s considerably high especially since two-thirds of non-emergency medical procedures are conducted in private hospitals.

Imagine being in pain and discovering that you could be waiting months or even years for your non-emergency surgery.

An insured person will wait far less time – on average 21 days – for their non-emergency surgery.

Private cover also gives people choice – the power to choose a fully trained specialist who will provide continuity of care, and the choice of hospital. Decisions you wouldn’t be able to make as a public patient.

With your private health insurance, you not only get faster and convenient access to treatment in the private system, you also get the choice to go private or public as you see fit.

A health fund that is run for members, we will support you in answering the question: “Do I have the right level of cover for my needs and life stage?”

If you have any questions about whether your cover is right for your needs and life stage, we’re here to help. Call us on 1300 113 113 or email

Ready to review your cover?

Book a personalised cover review with a health insurance specialist now.

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