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    I don’t know if it relieves the pressure on public hospitals per se, but I do know that my father, who has private health insurance, spent 4 days in a transit section of St Vincent’s in Sydney (in a bed that was 0.5m shorter than his frame), before being placed in a ward in the public section because the private hospital was full. Unfortunately, while in the public section, he has to pay because he has private health insurance, but gets “public care” (dirty ward, disinterested medical staff etc – I have proof). So, I ask, what’s the point of having private health insurance? By the way, someone at St Vincent’s told me “off the record” that public patients have been placed in the private hospital due to bed shortages.

    And a quick point about private health insurance: STOP REBATES FOR QUACK THERAPIES – that will reduce your costs.

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    I feel compelled to say that my wife has had three procedures as a public patient at a public hospital over the last five years.
    On each occasion she received excellent care, the staff – medical and nursing – were anything but ‘disinterested’ and as far as we could tell the hospital was clean albiet running flat out.
    Thank you Hobart Royal and staff.

    Means test the rebate.

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    Stevo the Working Twistie

    I spent 2 weeks as a private patient in a public ward not that long ago, and my experience could not have been more different to your Father’s @Tomboy. Fantastic and attentive staff, immaculate conditions and the best care you’ll get anywhere in the world. I also have anecdotal evidence of poor experiences, but I think it is important to flag the good ones too. And I didn’t “have to pay” – I was given the option of tapping my private health insurance, or being a full public patient. I chose to claim against my health fund simply because I believe and always have that those who can pay, should.

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    Stevo the Working Twistie

    Oh, yes, and to the point of the blog – of course I believe the rebate should be means-tested. I would be one of those people who lose it, but that’s fine by me. I’d prefer to know that the resources and funding were being directed where they are required, and not as yet another source of middle-class welfare.


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