KEEPING YOU INFORMED ABOUT YOUR PUBLIC HOSPITALS
What will I have to pay for my treatment?
If you are admitted to hospital as a public patient:
There is no cost to the patient. People treated in NSW public hospitals as public patients are not charged for their accommodation, surgery, medication and other in-hospital services.
If you are admitted to hospital as a private patient:
If you have private health insurance and are admitted to hospital as a private patient, there will be charges for your accommodation and services provided by the hospital.
These costs are usually covered by your private health insurance company, unless you've taken out a 'front end deductible' policy. This means you pay a lower premium to the insurance company and in return, agree to make a personal contribution towards the hospital charges.
Privately insured patients are charged for medical and diagnostic services provided by their doctor (like X-Rays and pathology tests).
If your doctor is a specialist who works full-time at the hospital, there is usually no out-of-pocket charge for your surgery. The doctor's fee is covered by a combination of Medicare and private health fund rebates.
However, if your doctor is a Visiting Medical Officer - often referred to as a VMO - this means your doctor operates a private practice and sets their own fee. The doctor's fee for services may be higher than the total you get back from Medicare and your private health insurer. That extra amount - the 'gap' fee - is an out-of-pocket expense that will have to be paid by you to your doctor. It is a good idea to discuss potential 'gap' costs with your doctor before you are admitted to hospital.
What does it cost to provide health services in our public hospitals?
The NSW public health system is world-class. It is the biggest public health system in Australia with more than 230 public hospitals and health services and 100,000 dedicated staff who make up the health workface.
The average cost of typical interventions and treatments
Our population is growing and it is also ageing. Technology, medical specialisation, new treatments and a wealth of medical research continually informing health care mean we are living longer but we are also costing more to treat.
It is important to know that if you elect to be a public patient when admitted to a public hospital, you will not receive a bill for your stay.
The information provided on this website is aimed at filling a gap in the information available to people who are admitted to hospital. It might also promote discussion about the costs of care and where the money goes in the health system.
Your tax dollars contribute to meeting the costs of health care - it is your health system.
We hope you find this information useful and informative.
On a typical day in New South Wales:
- 5,600 people are admitted to a public hospital.
- 17,000 people spend the night in a public hospital.
- 1,000 patients have their surgery (emergency or planned) performed in our public hospitals.
- 6,500 people are seen by our emergency departments.
- Almost 100,000 dedicated staff provide over 100,000 patients services each day.
- 20 patients have their hip replaced.
- 18 patients have a knee replaced.
- 100 patients have their cataracts removed.
- 25 patients have their appendix removed.
- 32 patients have their gall bladder removed.
- 200 babies are born.
* A Typical day most commonly relates to Monday to Friday activity when most elective surgery is performed.