| 06.12,17. 01:13 PM |
Patients waiting four times longer than private patients for some operations at public hospitals
Public patients have to wait significantly longer than private patents for elective operations at public hospitals. Photo: Louie Douvis
The Waiting Game
The rules are simple. It doesn't matter whether you're a public patient or a health fund member, if you're a patient in a public hospital, treatment should be delivered based on clinical need not insurance status.
But the latest figures in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare's Private Health Insurance Use in Australian Hospitals report tell a very different, and worrying, story.
Public patients, for some elective operations such as a cataract extraction, are waiting four times longer than privately insured patients in public hospitals – 113 days compared to 29 days.
Waiting for a tonsillectomy? Public patients have to wait three times longer 138 days compared to 49 days.