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4839.0.55.001 - Health Services: Patient Experiences in Australia, 2009  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/10/2011   
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Contents >> Hospital and Emergency >> Given the choice to be treated as a public or private patient

GIVEN THE CHOICE TO BE TREATED AS A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE PATIENT

Across Australia, two out of five people who were admitted to hospital had been given a choice to be treated as a public or private patient on their most recent hospital admission.

Geographical location and index of disadvantage did not have a significant impact on rates of being offered this choice, however rates were affected by private health insurance status, self-assessed health and age. For example:

  • 46% of people with private health insurance that were admitted to hospital had been given the choice to be treated as a public or private patient on their most recent visit, compared with 30% of people without private health insurance (see Table 4.1);
  • 42% of people admitted to hospital who rated their health as good or better had been given the choice, compared with 33% of people who rated their health as fair or poor (see Table 4.2); and
  • people admitted to hospital aged between 35 to 44 years were more likely to have been given the choice to be treated as a public or private patient than people in other age groups (see Table 4.2).


Information to assist choice of being treated as public or private patient

Of the people who were given the choice to be treated as a public or private patient, approximately 87% (783,400 people) reported feeling they had been given enough information to choose. Men were more likely than women to report this (92% and 85% respectively).

Across the States and Territories, people living in WA (79%) were the least likely to report being given enough information to choose, while nearly all people living in the ACT (100%) and Tasmania (99%) felt they were given enough information, shown in Figure 4.4 below.

4.4 Felt was given enough information to choose to be treated as public or private patient (a), by State/Territory

(See Table 4.3 for more detail)

Less people in areas of least disadvantage reported receiving enough information to make a choice about being treated as a public or private patient than people in areas of more disadvantage (80% compared with, for example, 92% of people in the middle quintile of the index of disadvantage).

While people with private health insurance had been given the choice to be treated as a public or private patient more often than people without private health insurance, they were less likely to feel they had been given enough information to make the choice (84% and 93% respectively).

Employed people were less likely to feel that they had been given enough information to choose (83%) than people who were unemployed or not in the labour force (92%) (see Table 4.1 for more detail).





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