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Australian Public and private hospitals

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Public and private hospitals
If you need to go to hospital in Australia for an operation or treatment, there are different types of hospitals.

Public hospitals

Public hospitals provide high quality medical care and provide care at low or even no cost to people with access to Medicare. They are usually where you go if you have an emergency.

If you need non-urgent treatment, and choose to be a public patient, you may need to wait longer until a space becomes available, you won't be able to choose your doctor (you'll be looked after by the doctor on-call for your health issue or condition), and may be in a shared room with other people while you recover.

Public hospitals are funded and by the government, but also get funded by health insurance when patients choose to use their private cover in a public hospital.

Private hospitals

Private hospitals are owned and operated by the private organisations but licensed and regulated by the government. Typically, you’ll get:

Choice as a private patient regarding aspects of your care, like choosing your doctor
Reduced waiting time for elective or planned surgeries
The choice of a private room (if available and medically appropriate)

You can also be treated as a private patient in a public hospital, treated by your choice of doctor.


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