Healthcare System

Private health insurers and Medicare work in tandem to give all Australians our current health care system. Among the benefits of this are shorter waiting times for elective surgery and less demand for public hospital beds.  You should know a few key facts about how the Private Health Industry supports the public health sector:

There were 573 private hospitals operating in Australia in 2009–10
(Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2011. Australian Hospital Statistics 2009-10.)

Private hospitals treat 4 out of every 10 admitted hospital patients in Australia, representing 31% of all days of hospitalisation.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2011. Australian Hospital Statistics 2009-10.

Private hospitals perform the majority of surgery in Australia – 59%.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2011. Australian Hospital Statistics 2009-10.

Private hospitals perform 81% of all Mental Health treatments, sameday; 60% of all Cancer Therapy (Chemotherapy) in Australia.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2010. Australian Hospital Statistics 2008-09.

The table below shows the percentage of treatment types the Private Sector performs in Australia.

Private health contribution graph

You should also know that the benefits paid out on behalf of members by Private Health Insurance Funds in 2010 totalled A$12.5 billion. This was an increase of 8.1% compared to the previous 12 months.

Total Healthcare Benefits Paid by Private Health Insurance