JOHN MENADUE. Preferential treatment for private patients in public hospitals in NSW.

See below a poster from NSW Health which is being displayed in public hospitals in NSW.

Readers may be interested to comment.

Two things interest me. The first is that the advertisement infers that if you have private health insurance you will get superior service in a public hospital. That surely attacks the principle that in public hospitals patients are to be treated according to their therapeutic needs and not on the basis of income or private insurance. The former CEO of Medibank Pte proposed that PHI members should have priority in Emergency Departments.

The second is that there is an inefficient churning of public money. The Australian taxpayer provides $11 billion p.a. in a subsidy to private health insurance. This subsidy is apparently to be used in part to pay bills for private patients in public hospitals. How much more efficient it would be for the Federal government to abolish the subsidy and adequately fund public hospitals. This churning of money is a symptom of the division of responsibilities in health in Australia and in the inefficiency of private health insurance.. The administrative costs of PHI are three times higher than those of Medicare. PHI premium increases over the last decade have been double the rate of CPI.

 

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3 Responses to JOHN MENADUE. Preferential treatment for private patients in public hospitals in NSW.

  1. Ian W Webster says:

    This poster appears throughout the NSW Public Hospitals.

    In one hospital it sits above where patients wait to see a public hospital specialist in the out-the patient clinic. These are patients who can’t afford private treatment. To see private specialists often requires the payment of an upfront fee; no bulk billing! A fee which is out of the question for these patients.

    How diminished they must feel when the hospital they trust and which is theirs to access, by right, implies they should pay and could choose a doctor other than the public doctor they are about to see.

  2. Peter Graves says:

    Thanks John

    The poster is quite inappropriate, except possibly to indicate some interesting connections between NSW Health and private health funds.

    Just exactly how would a patient “directly help” the hospital by being private ?

    • Julian says:

      @Peter Graves:
      “Just exactly how would a patient “directly help” the hospital by being private ?”
      Good question Peter.
      Has anyone queried the CEO of the hospital for an answer?
      Trouble is I think we know the answer already and it will be one of two variations – 1). “..efficient allocation of resources..” and/or “confidential”.

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