Cost of health care

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Help improve Australian healthcare! By sharing your health experiences and ideas, you can help consumer advocates and consumer organisations work for change that improves things for you, patients, carers, families and communities. 

  • Lulu's picture

    Disability Equipment Costs

    To combat high disability-related equipment costs maybe we should look at separating the equipment cost from the assessment & fitting cost. Create a Medicare item # to use as req'd for fitting/service, and pay an 'equip only' fee. Not all equipment needs specialised fitting but the fee is built in to most equipment regardless...Read more
  • My Story's picture

    Post transplant, diabetic, Cystic fibrosis gal , no one is listening

    Thanks to the consumer for sharing this post through email I have a chronic illness that I was born with . A genetic condition called Cystic Fibrosis , I have Diabetes, and in 2007 I had a double lung transplant, so that started my life of being able to live not only just exist. The problem is that i still have Cystic Fibrosis , I have Diabetes which is a combination of type one and two which is Cystic Fibrosis related, and now adding to that medication for my lung transplant as well. The reason I am posting this is that I am working full time , because of that I apparently have a lot of...Read more
  • leacalais's picture

    Ownership of private hospitals

    I am wondering how it is that doctors have been allowed to own private hospitals. In an industry where consumers have no real way of knowing whether they are being overserviced, this represents a clear conflict of interest. Where consortiums of doctors own hospitals (usually the group of doctors which operate at that hospital) what is to stop doctors unnecessarily carrying out treatment in hospitals, that could have been done in their surgery? My father has had numerous health problems (eye, skin etc) which require minor surgery. He has had many day surgeries. He is convinced that many...Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    Changes to the co-payment plan - your thoughts?

    The Federal Government has announced changes to the proposed GP co-payment. Information is available on the Department of Health website . The changes include exemptions for concession card holders, people under 16 years old, pensioners, veteran’s funded through the Dept of Veteran’s Affairs, attendances at residental aged care facilities, and pathology and diagnostic imaging services. What do you think of the plan? Have a say!...Read more
  • Anonymous's picture

    Why won't politicians listen to qualified health advisors?

    I would like to see all health funding, public and private, directly linked to proven outcomes. The Gratten Institute and other quality organisations repeatedly recommend uniting all health costs into a single payment system. The Professional Services Review have pointed to 4 billion a year wasted in overservicing, waste and fraud. The CEO of Private Hospitals Australian has still not been allowed to publish his report into some private hospitals "backing up truckloads of gold... for rat---- outcomes". American studies have shown that up to 1/3 of tests and treatments are not...Read more
  • SUzylee's picture


    Despite having top hospital cover for the last 52 years, when I was diagnosed with aggressive breast Cancer, I have found that often less than half of the costs are covered! We are out of pocket by $6,700 the first time, and the worst was that we had to pay everything BEFORE the operations. As the first one was urgent I had no option but to borrow to pay the fees as I did not have time to get to the bank to be able to transfer funds. To make it worse, while I was in intensive care, Centrelink cancelled my pension because I had not reported our income! I found out about it when the doctor came...Read more
  • Health Consumers Alliance SA's picture

    How have service cutbacks affected you?

    Over the last two years there have been a number of cutbacks in health spending in South Australia. These have included cuts to health promotion and primary prevention services. In addition, local hospital services have been set ambitious savings targets. Have these cutbacks disadvantaged or affected you or your family or friends? If so, how? (for example, service access, safety and quality, appointment/waiting times, etc.)Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Medicare needs a revamp – but not at the expense of those who need it most

    The Australian Government wants to spend public money more efficiently. Different ways to bring down health care costs are being discussed. Recent disclosures concerning a proposed $6 co-payment to see the GP , and Medibank Private’s trial of a scheme giving preferment to GP patients with health insurance, point to a disturbing erosion of Medicare’s goal of access for all to primary health care. But rising out of pocket costs already limit access to health services. [1] Australian out of pocket costs are among the highest in the OECD , at nearly 20 per cent of health funding. [2] The...Read more
  • Women's Centre for Health Matters's picture

    The financial costs of being healthy and well

    We at the Women’s Centre for Health Matters know that women’s financial situations can have an impact on their health. In the ACT, research has shown that more than five times as many women with low incomes report having fair or poor health than women on high incomes. Not having the financial resources to access the health or mental health services you need puts you in a really difficult situation. If you find out you need to see a specialist, this can make things even worse – even if you have private health insurance. We’d like to hear your stories about how your financial situation has...Read more
  • sunnygirl's picture

    Deep Brain Stimulation - $21 000 out of pocket in Qld, $0 in Victoria !!!

    I have Early Onset Parkinson's Disease (diagnosed at 45). Deep Brain Stimulation is recommended particularly for the younger PD patients as it can allow a reduction in medication and it has been very successful for many. It is major surgery, head shaved, 34 staples, electrodes, implanted neurotransmitter. In Qld my support organization could only tell me one team who do the surgery and was told that they wouldn't want anyone else meddling with their brain anyway. Out of pocket costs if in a top health fund are $21000. When I initially found this out the neurologists practice manager...Read more
  • Chris's picture

    Small town monopoly

    I live in a country town, Warragul which had 3 pharmacies all owned by the same group. Recently an independent pharmacy opened and on average my medication is $10.00 less on each item. Medication is still too expensive but as a community we have been ripped off for far too long.Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    Medicines savings we never see – losing $2,000 a minute and counting

    Australia’s prescription medicines bill amounts to $1 billion a year more than what Britain pays for exactly the same medicines. That’s because Australia’s medicine pricing policies have failed to take advantage of the plunge in world pharmaceutical costs in recent years. The savings we lose each minute would have paid for 55 additional GP visits. Over a year, the savings would finance a large teaching hospital. Read more here:… What is your experience with obtaining medicines and the healthcare you and your family need? What works well...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Consumer stories can help Government decide what should be funded under Medicare - we need your stories!

    Have you, or someone you care for, experienced any of these medical procedures? Did you have to pay for the entire cost out of your own pocket without reimbursement? • Capsule endoscopy to diagnose small bowel Crohn’s disease • DXA scan (dual energy X-ray absorptiometry) to identify if you’re at risk of osteoporosis • Procedure to remove an imbedded object in the eye performed by an optometrist • Transcatheter closure of ventricular septal defect • Catheter-based renal denervation for resistant hypertension These procedures are currently being considered for funding through the Medicare...Read more
  • rozellelily's picture

    Encourage specialists to provide free healthcare to pensioners,severely mentally ill,and the disabled

    Please encourage Private doctors to do their bit for social justice by providing pro-bono services for the most vulnerable in this country. Specialists are very highly paid and the gap between their lifestyle and the needy is huge. Also the government could pay specialists reasonable amounts and use the excess for improvement of public health. The doctors/patient power imbalance is large due to much more demand then supply. Let's "close the gap" between the wealthy and the vulnerables lifestyle...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Consumers Health Forum says it's a Budget for medicines and cancer, but no hip pocket relief

    CHF’s Analysis of the 2013-14 Budget provides an overview of the key initiatives as outlined by the Government, CHF’s position on these initiatives, and significant omissions from the budget. View CHF's Analysis at: Some patients with cancer or needing new medicines will benefit from the 2013-14 Federal Budget, but there is little relief from hip pocket pain, with delayed indexation on MBS items and restricted access to the Extended Medicare Safety Net. What does the Budget mean for you and your family? We'd like to hear your...Read more
  • ourhealth moderator's picture

    Have your say on the blog post: 'Hip pocket pain campaign strikes a nerve'?

    The first OurHealth blog post was written by Mark Metherell, the Consumers Health Forum's (CHF) Communications Manager. Mark provides an inside look into last month's massive out of pocket cost campaign launched by the Consumers Health Forum. In this blog post, Mark sheds a light on the reasons for the campaign, why it matters to consumers and the publics and media reaction to the outrageous health costs that consumers have to bear. Read the post and then join the conversation here. What do you think? Did you see the campaign?...Read more
  • SUzylee's picture

    DO NOT GET SICK- even if you have top cover!

    Have been through breast cancer for the last two years- am out of pocket $3025 for the mastectomy, $940 for the anaesthetic, follow up appointments are $250 more than the rebate. Today I go to see the cardiologist because the Herceptin has affected my heart. I will be $768 dollars out of pocket for the echo and consultation only. WHo knows what the treatment may cost???? We have top hospital but it did not help much at all. When you are on a pension it is hard to meet these costs and the waiting time for cardiology at the public hospital in Townsville is now 6months!! People die while waiting...Read more
  • Lynette's picture

    The High Cost of Getting Sick

    September 2012 my 74 year old husband was diagnosed with cancer at the base of his tongue. He had two operations, one for the biopsy and one for the removal of the cancer. He spent 5 days in intensive care and 15 days in hospital. The cost of our out of pocket expenses to date is $53,000.00 and yes we have top health cover. The problem is with the gap being set too low. Most Australians don't understand that Medicare and your Health fund can only pay the gap between them., i.e. Medicare picks up about 80% of the scheduled fee and the Health fund the balance of 20%. So, if your surgeon...Read more
  • GingerW's picture

    Cost affects the health choices we make

    I was really pleased to hear the talk on radio yesterday about how much isn’t covered by Medicare and our private health insurance and what happens when cost becomes an issue in thinking about your healthcare. It’s not just bad for the patient and their family, it’s bad for the health system. This is my Mum’s story. She’s mid 70s, a pensioner and has a host of things wrong with her. On her last trip to Emergency she was admitted. It was a swollen knee that got suddenly worse on the weekend. She had had a lot of medical costs – more than usual at that time – so when she was being admitted, she...Read more
  • Mandemar's picture

    Private/public is out of kilter

    I've held private health insurance since the 1950's, and I remember back then that holding private health insurance meant there was no 'gap' when you went to see the doctor. That's not how it works now, but if I didn't have private health insurance I think I might have lost my leg to osteomielitis. Without private health insurance I would not have been able to access surgeons as quickly as I was able to in this last year. That would have meant waiting too long for surgery and a longer stay in hospital. Not just a worse situation for my health when I am fighting...Read more
  • John Colenso's picture

    Medicare bulk billings

    A matter that has long concerned me is the way in which most doctors whom I have consulted over many years (all bulk-billing) do not fill in the details of the service provided. One should question them before signing but in practice that is embarrassing when relationships otherwise have been long and cordial.Read more
  • From Latest News's picture

    It’s Budget season - Have your say!

    The Government accepts pre-budget submissions for the 2013-14 budget from all Australians until January 31 2013. Pre-budget submissions make recommendations on where the money should be spent in the next budget, and sets the policy priorities for the year. Last year 270 submissions were received. Some of the ideas from the Consumers Health Forum's submission are: • Funding for a trial of personal health budgets for people with chronic and complex conditions – so that people can use the money for things that they think will support their health, not the services that the health system...Read more
  • CHF Team's picture

    Automatic access to the PBS Safety Net?

    What do you think about the suggestion in this article ( ) that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Safety Net should automatically come into affect when someone reaches the threshold? The PBS safety net works by reducing the costs of medicines to the consumer once a certain amount of money is spent on PBS medicines in a year. Once individuals or households have reached the safety net threshold – currently $348 for people accessing concessions and $1,363 for others – co-payments drop to $5.80 for general and to nothing for concession...Read more
  • Patient Opinion's picture

    CODI transport to and from Ipswich Hospital

    When I booked in for the surgery, I presented the reception staff with a form signed by my doctor, to have patient transport to and from the procedure earlier in 2012. I was assured the transport would be arranged and pick me up in plenty of time for me to get to the hospital. I waited for about 3/4 hour, but no transport turned up. I then had to phone the hospital to find out what transport service was to have picked me up and was patched through to the ambulance service. I was informed that CODI handled the transport. As I am recently moved here from Victoria, I had no idea what CODI stood...Read more
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