Written by Hannah Twiggs

Hospital wait times the main trigger for Aussies to take out health cover

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Hannah Twiggs

Public hospital surgery wait times are at their worst in 15 years[1], driving nearly one in three Aussies to take out private health insurance to avoid the wait, according to new research.

A survey of an independent, nationally representative panel of 1000 Australian adults with private health insurance, commissioned by leading financial comparison service comparethemarket.com.au[2], asked Australians what triggered them to take out health cover.

The results found that hearing about long hospital wait times was the most common reason, triggering nearly 29 per cent of Aussies to take out health cover. Two in five (42%) of the over-65 age group were desperate to avoid long waiting times and took out health insurance to skip the queues.

The findings come after a report from the Australian Medical Association revealed that the median waiting time for elective surgery in public hospitals are at a 15 year high – now reaching an incredible 38 days in 2016-17[3].

Surprisingly, diagnosis of a health condition, health scares and risks weren’t voted as significant enough reasons for taking out health insurance. On average, less than 10 per cent of respondents chose these as the main triggers.

Household savings and health insurance expert at comparethemarket.com.au, Abigail Koch, said: “With half of Aussies waiting up to 193 days for a knee replacement and 110 days for hip replacement surgery[4], it’s no surprise that avoiding wait times is the most common driver for Aussies – especially those who are older to take out health insurance.”

“Patients with private health insurance wait less than half the time that public patients do for elective surgery[5]. Private health insurance can also give you the freedom to choose your own doctor and even the date you would like to be admitted to hospital. We encourage all Aussies who are thinking about taking out cover, no matter the reason, to compare policies and prices, and find out further information through comparethemarket.com.au.”

 

 

For interviews and more information, please contact:
Neneh McGuire | +61 2 9279 3330 | +61 404 433 263|
nmcguire@theideassuite.com.au 

About comparethemarket.com.au
Comparethemarket.com.au is an online comparison service that takes the hard work out of shopping around. We help Australians to quickly and easily compare and buy products from a wide range of providers. Our easy-to-use comparison tool enables consumers to find a product that best suits their needs and their back pocket. We’re also in the business of comparing personal finance products, utilities and can help find the lowest fuel prices in your area. Whether it’s car, health or home & contents insurance, we provide a completely free service, that empowers Australians to make buying decisions with greater trust, knowledge and savings. We’ve got your back, simples.

 

[1] Australian Medical Association, 2018, ‘PUBLIC HOSPITAL REPORT CARD 2018: AN AMA ANALYSIS OF AUSTRALIA’S PUBLIC HOSPITAL SYSTEM’: https://ama.com.au/system/tdf/documents/AMA%20Public%20Hospital%20Report%20Card%202018_0.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=48026

[2] Survey conducted by Pureprofile

[3] Australian Medical Association, 2018, ‘PUBLIC HOSPITAL REPORT CARD 2018: AN AMA ANALYSIS OF AUSTRALIA’S PUBLIC HOSPITAL SYSTEM’: https://ama.com.au/system/tdf/documents/AMA%20Public%20Hospital%20Report%20Card%202018_0.pdf?file=1&type=node&id=48026

[4] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017, ‘Elective surgery waiting times 2016–17: Australian

hospital statistics’: https://www.aihw.gov.au/getmedia/a7235c2d-3c90-4194-9fa1-b16edf7ff1f0/aihw-hse-197.pdf.aspx?inline=true

[5] Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2017, ‘Admitted patient care 2015–16: Australian hospital statistics’: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/hospitals/ahs-2015-16-admitted-patient-care/contents/table-of-contents

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