Surgery & Hospital

I’ve just come out of hospital where I spent 7 days after major abdominal surgery. The surgeon and the hospital were fantastic! We are very lucky here in Australia with our health system.

But it is worth noting that I was an insured patient in a private hospital – this means there was no waiting period, I got the surgeon of my choice (an exceptionally well qualified bloke who is at the top of his game), a private room with an ensuite, and excellent nursing and medication. This also meant that from diagnosis to treatment took approximately 4 weeks, and this included a 3 week period to make autologous blood donations (so they could use my own blood in transfusions).

The surgery I needed is referred to as ‘elective’ as the tumours that necessitated the surgery were known to be benign. Therefore (even though the tumours were doubling in size every few weeks) in the public health system I would have waited behind more urgent cases.

Now I am not so sure that the experience would have been if I had been an uninsured patient in a public hospital. I know that my surgery would have taken much longer to happen, there are quite long waiting lists and many times ‘elective’ surgery such as mine is cancelled.

It would be interesting to know what happens to people in a similar situation when they do not have private health insurance?