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Are you about to enter a public hospital as a private patient?

21 July 2011 - 6:37pm

As a private health cover holder receiving treatment in a public hospital you may have some questions about the rights you are entitled to.

In Australia, you have the right to choose your own doctor, who may attend to patients in public and private hospitals - and you can opt to be treated as a public patient in a public hospital if you wish.

The Australian government's Private Patients' Hospital Charter outlines what you need to be aware of before your stay.

In addition to making sure you are given clear information about your treatment and informed financial consent, patients should ask questions about hospital accommodation.

It is important to ask both the hospital and your insurer what level of accommodation is covered by your policy and whether or not they have an agreement with your chosen hospital.

To avoid unexpected costs, query the hospital about any extra costs such as TV hire and telephone calls.

This is particularly relevant for those expecting a long stay in the hospital.

Depending on your treatment you may need extensive assisted recovery time necessitating a longer stay, so patients should check if they are entitled to a private room if they prefer.