Preparing for Hospital – Everything you Need to Know
Ben Thomas,
Customer Experience Manager
Health Insurance Expert, who’d sign up for that job title? Ben Thomas did in 2008 and hasn’t looked back.

There are 100s of different procedures performed in Australian hospitals every day. Here's an overview of what to ask beforehand so you know what to expect during your stay.

 

Understanding both public and private care can help in the lead up to a hospital visit

Nobody wants to spend time in hospital unless they absolutely have to. For many people, understanding what’s involved during their stay can go a long way to reducing any stress beforehand.

Whether you’re using the public or private system, you’ll want to know everything to do with your visit. While there are 100s of different types of procedures performed every day in Australian hospitals, some of the most common that our Members Own team get asked about are:

  • Knee and Hip Replacements, including Arthroscopy
  • Heart procedures, such as Coronary Angioplasty, Coronary Bypass and Heart Valve Replacements
  • Prostate removals and urinary treatments such as Cytoscopy and Hysteroscopy
  • Digestive Procedures, such as Colonoscopy, Gastroscopy and Gallbladder Removal
  • Ear, eye, nose and teeth procedures, such as Cataract Removal and Tooth Extraction
  • Pregnancy, Childbirth and IVF

Chatting with your GP or specialist prior to your hospital visit

While every procedure has its own specific requirements in terms of preparing for hospital and what will happen on the day, it’s always good to talk with your GP, specialist or surgeon in the lead up. Things to ask could be:

  • Why am I having the procedure or surgery?
  • Will I need to stop eating or drinking on the day of the procedure?
  • How long will I be in hospital for?
  • How much will my hospital stay cost?
  • Can I drive home after the procedure?
  • Are there any common side effects or complications with my surgery or treatment?
  • What type of post-procedure care will I need when I get home? (This is often called a ‘post-acute care program’)
  • What’s the typical recovery period for this treatment?

As you’ve probably been told, there are also different categories under which your procedure will fall. Generally these are classed as elective / non-urgent and non-elective / urgent.

If you have private health cover you may already be serving a waiting period for elective surgery, such as a joint replacement. Or you could be currently on a public hospital waiting list, though being stuck on a waiting list can be frustrating especially if you’re in pain or discomfort.

Deciding on private health for your hospital needs

Private health insurance patients can avoid the long waits by being treated in private hospital, so you’re treated at a convenient time for you and you can choose who you’re treated by.

Having health cover can also save you in medical costs for hospital visits. On top of this, depending on the type of policy and availability, you may even be able to stay in more luxurious hospital accommodation and enjoy the benefits of your own room, a private bathroom, and even a TV.

If you want to see how hospital cover could help with your situation, you can use our online comparison service to do most of the work for you.

You can also call us on 1300 34 34 36, and we’ll help you find the best health cover for you from our panel of not-for-profit and mutual health funds.