The cost of a colonoscopy: Public vs private

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A guide to colonoscopy costs

Updated 12 March, 2024
Written by Joshua Malin
Reviewed by Steven Spicer

What is a colonoscopy?

Colonoscopies are used for bowel cancer screenings and sometimes growth removal. The procedure involves a flexible tube, known as a colonoscope, inserted through the rectum into the large bowel and up to the caecum (where the large and small intestine meet). Using a live camera feed, surgeons can diagnose and remove any cancerous tissue.1

Symptoms of bowel cancer include:2

  • Blood in your stools
  • A sudden change of bowel motion, including constipation or diarrhoea
  • Rectal and abdominal pain
  • Fatigue.

Days before the procedure, you may be placed on a special diet and given laxatives as part of your bowel preparation. Your GP or specialist will be able to explain the process. When undergoing a colonoscopy, you’ll be under sedation.

Expert tips on the cost of a colonoscopy

Our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer, has some expert tips on how to reduce the cost of a colonoscopy.

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

Look for no-gap schemes for hospital and doctor’s fees

Some health funds offer no-gap for accommodation or doctors’ fees for services included in your policy at specific agreement facilities (a hospital that partners with your fund). You will still need to pay your excess where applicable.

Contact your health fund first

If you are considering making a claim, it’s a good idea to contact your health fund for a list of doctors and specialists who align with their gap cover agreements. In many instances, you will only incur a minimal gap or potentially no cost at all if the healthcare provider participates.

Shop around for the best policy for you

Shop around and do your research. Prices vary from fund to fund, and there are plenty of options to choose from. If you need assistance, speak to an expert, they are there to help!

How much does a colonoscopy cost in Australia?



Colonoscopy MBS item numbers

Private health insurance for colonoscopies

What does my private health insurance cover for a colonoscopy?

Can I use my private health insurance in a public hospital?

Are there waiting periods for claiming colonoscopies through private cover?

Why you should seek out agreement hospitals

Meet our health insurance expert, Steven Spicer

Steven Spicer
Executive General Manager – Health, Life & Energy

As the Executive General Manager of Health, Life and Energy, Steven Spicer is a strong believer in the benefits of private cover and knows just how valuable the peace of mind that comes with cover can be. He is passionate about demystifying the health insurance industry and advocates for the benefits of comparison when it comes to saving money on your premiums.

1 Colonoscopy. Healthdirect, Department of Health, Australian Government. Reviewed June 2022. Accessed June 2023.

2 Bowel cancer. Better Health Channel, Department of Health and Human Services, State Government of Victoria. Reviewed September 2021. Accessed June 2023.

3 Medical Costs Finder. Department of Health, Australian Government. 2021-22. Accessed June 2023

4 The University of Melbourne, Pursuit: Who needs a colonoscopy most? Published March 2021.

5 Bowel Cancer Australia, A Colonoscopy Wait-time and Performance Guarantee. Accessed June 2023.