I don’t have health insurance, what are my options?
If you have no health insurance then you have 2 choices. You can either go onto a waitlist at public hospital or you can elect to pay for the procedure yourself as a self insured patient.
The public hospitals I admit to are Hawkesbury Hospital, Windsor, and Sydney Childrens Hospital, Randwick. The waiting list is considerable (at least 1 year as at Sept 2012) however the care is free of charge.
I have a training orthopaedic registrar who may do the surgery. There are strict Department of Health guidelines as to priority for patients on the waitlist. Essentially it is on “ first come, first served” basis.
If you elect to be self insured you are effectively treated as a private patient which enables you to choose when and where you wish to have your surgery. I can generally allocate you to a list within 6-8 weeks once the decision is made to perform the surgery.
My billings secretary can provide a quote on request as to the estimated cost of the procedure.
The costs if you elect to self insure may not be as high as you think particularly for procedures that can be done on a day only basis such as knee arthroscopy or reconstruction. You will get a proportion of the cost back from Medicare.