Sick bills of health
Medical care costs crippling
HIGH health costs are forcing Aussie battlers to delay seeking medical treatment with most of us believing medical care is just too costly.
Australians are also baffled by doctor fees, how much their private health insurance will pay for a procedure and whether to get a second opinion, new research reveals.
It uncovered high levels of confusion about navigating the country’s complex health system, from selecting the best GP, to finding a specialist and guessing the amount of the gap between private insurance and Medicare.
Commissioned by medical comparison website Tender Healthcare, the Galaxy poll of 1000 Australians found 89 per cent of people believe healthcare is expensive 64 per cent have delayed treatment as a result.
Dentist Dr Myles Holt, founder of Tender Healthcare, said in total, 86 per cent of people felt confused about healthcare. He said patients found it hard to find a second medical opinion, particularly for specialists.
“With Australians leading increasingly busy lifestyles, few people have the time or money to run around town to multiple consultations,” Dr Holt said. “Despite knowing the value of receiving vital second opinions, most people settle for whatever they can find nearby.”
But he said prices and quality could vary dramatically between suburbs. The new Tender Healthcare website allows patients to post their cases and doctors can offer their services and fee levels.
The survey also found 52 per cent of Australians were confused about how to choose the best dermatologist, 61 per cent were confused about the level of private health cover needed for a dermatologist visit and 50 per cent are confused about the level of cover they will receive for a dentist/orthodontist.
Coogee’s Rhiannon Warrie, 23, moved down from Brisbane and still hasn’t found an old-fashioned reliable GP.
She said she needed to update her contraception method but struggled to find a good local doctor, after attending medical centres and getting conflicting advice.
“I still haven’t found a GP, I realise that’s a bit ridiculous,” she said.