I was not suggesting that pensioners are freeloaders. It is critically important that the public health system is there for those who need it. It is the mob who could afford to go private that are possible freeloaders, and it would be niaive to think they don't exist. It should be an individual, personal judgement, if only for the greater good. And the reality, in my own recent experience, is that this retiree chose to have insurance, and I reaped the benefits.
The reality is that the public system is choking down through underfunding and overuse. And the funding is not going to improve without higher taxation for everyone. All citizens, IMO, have some duty to evaluate / consider if they can afford private health insurance. If you cannot, fine by me, but at least think about it rather than arrive at pension age and opt for the free stuff just because you can. I worked in Qld hospitals most of my career, and it made me sad to see patients with significant illnesses and problems to be told to take a ticket and go wait 12 months to see a Dermatologist, a Cardiologist, a Vascular Surgeon etc. I have seen people die whilst waiting. I stood in ED at RBWH only last year on a Friday at 3.00pm and the place was full....the staff were dreading the usual Friday night influx of trauma, stroke and heart attack. No one to blame. Just too many people using an underfunded resource when other options were possible (perhaps).
As for the public service superannuation, yeah its terrific. In fact that was one significant reason why I chose to work in it, rather than the private sector. Everyone has the opportunity to make such career choices, so it might be a smidgin unfair to suggest public servants are priviledged over others in that regard. Go the Union movement for getting me those conditions.
Not sure about your figures ED. I pay $3800pa for Top Hospital Cover plus 100% Extras with my fund, and that covers everything for 4 people in the household, from my Emergency Op and non PBS prescriptions, to Mrs Nortons physiotherapy and dental to the kids orthodontistry. I reckon some "pensioners" in here bet, smoke and drink a lot more than more than that in a year LOL. I'm not trying to sell health insurance here, just pointing out I am far better off with it than without it, and so are the taxpayers.