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Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-25, 02:41 PM Reply #25 »
Mono, ya might be right.  I will have to get a tummy change pouch to wear at the front, if only to hide the scar.  I have a bit to put in it too since I had time to do some form and got the Ballarat Treble yesty.  A cool $1K jumped in.  I love it when the favs get rolled.

Walter, hospitals are not permitted to be hotel suites for infection control purposes.  The best are all bare boards so the MRSA and VER nasties can't hide.  You have been watching too much television.  That little motor bed I was in was a little beauty with more controls than a 747 and costs about $13K.  The mattress is another $4K.  After I checked out I understand some men went in in space suits and steam cleaned the joint.  Mind you that may have been necessary because of my garbage disposal unit issues.

One good thing is that I got the waxing for free with a bonus zipper in the tummy and won't need a boyzillian for a few weeks again.



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Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-25, 02:43 PM Reply #26 »
Arsenal, I can't wait to bet back onto my beer diet.  Gee it's been tough.

Offline dubbledee

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« 2011-Feb-25, 04:23 PM Reply #27 »
This was my first experience being the patient in an emergency unit, although I am used to working in one and not being the patient.  So it was interesting to observe the difference in private hospital EM by comparison.  

My doc was full Prof of Med at UQ and he set up a medical imaging then a theatre plan in minutes.  The ability of the doctors to devote time to your case was extraordinary, and pretty simple to explain.......unlimited high quality resources.  Confirmed my own experience on the public side that Governments do, sadly, underfund our public hospitals.  I know I would have been stuck in the public hospital nearby for many more hours.  Private Med insurance picked up the tab for most of my costs.  

Probably Governments want most of us in the private system and paying for ourselves.  The alternative would be to raise taxes, I suppose.  You get what you pay for.  We really kid ourselves expecting 5 star care and no wait times for free.

Dunno about you, Norton, but I'd give up punting before I'd give up my private hospital cover.

Offline gratlog

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« 2011-Feb-25, 04:45 PM Reply #28 »
DD, I don't have private health cover but have nothing but praise for Qld system.

eg  Last week I needed a doctor about 3am and no worries one was here in 20 minutes.  He sent me to hospital and again the treatment was first class.

As far as dental goes, I rang last year to see if I coukd get a toothache attended to and that was at 8am.  They apologised as I couldn't get in till 1030am.

Maybe some of that might be Federally funded .  I don't know but I believe if you do the right thing then the system works well.

Too many people clog the system up with monor complaints instead of using the local GP first imo

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-25, 04:55 PM Reply #29 »
Well  DD I think it is a bit irresponsible not to have it.   Anyone who genuinely thinks "I don't need private medical insurance" is a bit misguided IMO.  The downside of being totally dependent on public medicine is you have to wait up to years for elective health care versus walk up in a few days or weeks in the private system.  And unless you are really on the skids welfare wise you are clogging up the system for those that really need it, as well as freeloading on limited resources the Govt puts into it.  


Offline dubbledee

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« 2011-Feb-25, 07:22 PM Reply #30 »
Norton, it's only a matter of time before I need major surgery.  When I do, I won't be languishing on a waiting list.  I'll choose my butcher, too.   :yes:  Happy to fork out my insurance premium until I do in support of those who need attention.

I'm certainly starting to wonder whether I should continue to insure my lean-to, though. :chin:

Offline Vintage

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« 2011-Feb-25, 07:37 PM Reply #31 »
It does seem to be very little but a money making exercise for the insurance companies.

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-25, 09:37 PM Reply #32 »
Hi Vintage. 

Money making is the name of the game in insurance i.e. pay out less then premiums coming in.  And private medicine is meant to produce profit for the providers.  Those are givens.   

The trouble for Government / society is that health care in the modern era, that is if we want first world medicine, is unsustainable at current funding levels because of the humungous current and future costs involved.  As you would know in Qld, we are seriously underfunded in the public system.  For example, I wrote a white paper for Treasury that estimated that a future fund of $2B was required just to maintain capital infrastructure replacement and new technology needs in the next decade in Qld hospitals.  The current allocation rate in the Capital Plan is only $1B.  All of the high tech infrastructure built at places like RWBH, PAH and Townsville when new 10 years ago is fast reaching the end of its useful life.  MRI, CT, Linear Accelerators, PET etc that has become the cornerstone of medicine is aged and becoming redundant to service levels needed.

If fewer people used the public system we might be OK, but every time someone uses "free" care when they could genuinely afford to use private medicine with insurance cover they are consuming limited resources set aside for those who genuinely need them.  In the not too distant future I predict that people with private cover will be the lucky ones, and the tax payer will get hit significantly hard to maintain the "free hospitals" mantra.  It really is unsustainable without massive injection of funding long term.

Offline monologue

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« 2011-Feb-26, 09:35 AM Reply #33 »
Fees going up another 6.5% I read today. :rant:

Offline Spudda028

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« 2011-Feb-26, 10:03 AM Reply #34 »
I just submitted the forms to change health cover providers yesterday. My optical benefit for instance has bee nset at $200 limit for the last 4 years. Not even an increase in line with CPI. Do you think my premiums haven't changed in that time? Sorry but the govt regulation on private health insurance is a joke.

What about lifetime healthcover loading? If you don't have continuous health cover overthe age of 30 ir if you don;t have it for a while they slug you 2% for each year of your age over 30 that you didn't have it for 10 years. ie i didn;t have it for 6 years so lose 12% of my 30% govt rebate. If you credit default on someone else's money you are penalized 5 years- so this 10 year penalty is stiff anyway you look at it.

Don't get me started on health insurance - one word JOKE!

Offline El Dufus

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« 2011-Feb-26, 09:07 PM Reply #35 »
The full pension for a married couple is around $26,000 pa. The pension starts to reduce if income from other sources exceeds around $250.00 a week. The assets test reduces the pension if their assets (excluding their house) exceed around $260,000.

Full private health cover costs around $3,500 - $4,000 pa depending on the provider and which add-ons are chosen.

That would represent around 13% -15% of a pensioners total annual income. For those of you living in retirement on $50,000, would you like to pay $7,500 pa for your private health cover?

I'm certain that every pensioner in existence would love to have private health cover.

So I reckon anyone who thinks a pensioner is freeloading on the health system is mean spirited in the extreme, and needs a reality check.

For employees in private enterprise who contribute to superannuation, compulsory employer contributions are currently set at 9%. The Labor Government under Keating wanted this to rise progressively to a maximum of 12%, but the Howard Government capped it at 9%. Most knowledgable people in the investment advisory industry believe the figure should now be set at 15% as cost of living rises and investment market volatility will mean that most people contributing to super these days will not have sufficient capital on retirement to live a reasonable existence without some form of Government support.

Federal and State Governments have been contributing between 12% and 18% for their employees for many years. Those contributions come from the public purse and who funds the public purse? Public service super schemes are much more generous than most private enterprise schemes.

Employees in private enterprise have to hope their employers do the right thing and actually make the contributions. How many times have we read about employers going broke and super contributions have not been made on behalf of their employees?

Public servants are guaranteed to receive their employer contributions.

I am in private health cover because I can afford it. My parents were pensioners and they could not.

Freeloaders? I think not.

ED


Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-26, 11:27 PM Reply #36 »
 ED

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.

Offline worldisavampire

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« 2011-Feb-27, 02:16 AM Reply #37 »
I read somewhere, and it sort of makes sense, that you should never take Private Health Insurance. You are better off investing your premiums, going private if sick and just copping any medical bills that arise. This must be true, on average, because if it wasn't, Health Insurance Companies wouldn't be making a profit.

Of course, it would be an extremely tough discipline. And if you happen to be one the unlucky ones then you could get wiped out. But there are very few that actually would ever even nearly be in that position.

I am not sure if what I say is remotely correct but the logical progression seems sound.

So who's up for some Russian Roulette?

Offline Vintage

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« 2011-Feb-27, 08:19 AM Reply #38 »
Vamps, two of my colleagues at work are doing pretty much as you suggest.

One is betting on their network of contacts from within the health system and from private school days for timely access etc when required.  By the way I have seen this approach work which grates a little...

The second colleague has recently put this to the test and fronted up with the dollars and received access at a reasonable/suitable time for an elective procedure - no complaints.  Except the indications are that the original procedure has not worked as planned and they are looking at having to go under again - now backing their negotiation skills to have it done at a reduced rate.

Offline dubbledee

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« 2011-Feb-27, 09:32 AM Reply #39 »
Those thinking of "saving" their health insurance premiums to cover any future needs should first get a "quote" for a bypass from one of our leading hospitals.

I doubt anyone would live long enough to save the required cost.

My priorities in life would be:

1. Food

2. Private Hospital Insurance

3. Punting

Offline Walter Watermelon

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« 2011-Feb-27, 09:42 AM Reply #40 »
Those thinking of "saving" their health insurance premiums to cover any future needs should first get a "quote" for a bypass from one of our leading hospitals.

I doubt anyone would live long enough to save the required cost.


I have. And I reckon I got out of it cheaper than a premium private health cover donor.

Depends on whether you consider that those paying the Medicare levy are considered to be "health insured"

Offline dubbledee

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« 2011-Feb-27, 10:05 AM Reply #41 »
And what was the quote, WW?

Offline Walter Watermelon

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« 2011-Feb-27, 10:14 AM Reply #42 »
And what was the quote, WW?

If you mean the "quote" for a bypass, it was free (well, included in Medicare levy) Subsequent visits to specialist also bulk billed as well as tests performed.
My GP said that my there was no way my specialist would bulk bill, but he did.

I am not having a go at private health cover. My sister is covered very well but seems to pay plenty in excess.

Choosing the best doctors under the private heath scheme seems a bonus. Until you need them. They always seem to be either out on the golf course, at the racetrack or on an overseas seminar junket.

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Feb-27, 11:06 AM Reply #43 »
Walter the public system is the place of choice for emergency neurology (e.g. stroke ), poly trauma (e.g. hit by a train) and cardiology (e.g. heart attack).  Our health systems are designed for that because the Government has made (quite rightly) the capital investment in technology such as Angio suites, 6 Tesla MRI and 320 slice CT digital imaging.  It would be foolish and wasteful for private sector to try to duplicate that stuff at the top end.

Never go to a private hospital if you are in cardiac arrest is the rule of thumb. Only the public sector has the tools to serve you. Once stabilised you might consider moving next door for long term care, but in the acute phase the public system is the go.  I assume your bypass was urgent.

But surely you understand that taking a non urgent illness through the public system, just because it is free and you could afford insurance, a person is clogging up the system at the expense of those that have no other option but go public.

Or maybe some people just don't care about the genuine welfare cases.

« Last Edit: 2011-Feb-27, 11:31 AM by Norton »

Offline dubbledee

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« 2011-Feb-27, 11:34 AM Reply #44 »
WW, you've obviously got a good result, and as Norton implies, it seems you were in  need of urgent attention.  Good news that you were attended to.  emthup

What shouldn't be dismissed though, is the length of the waiting lists for cardiac surgery.  You might be diagnosed with non-urgent artherosclerosis which puts you on a list - and you might stay there forever (or die in the meantime).  The last thing I'd want is to be thinking "I have a potential coronary blockage, so I'd best stop taking quaddies."  :lol:

Offline Walter Watermelon

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« 2011-Feb-27, 11:58 AM Reply #45 »
Walter the public system is the place of choice for emergency neurology (e.g. stroke :love:), poly trauma (e.g. hit by a train) and cardiology (e.g. heart attack).  Our health systems are designed for that because the Government has made (quite rightly) the capital investment in technology such as Angio suites, 6 Tesla MRI and 320 slice CT digital imaging.  It would be foolish and wasteful for private sector to try to duplicate that stuff at the top end.

Never go to a private hospital if you are in cardiac arrest is the rule of thumb. Only the public sector has the tools to serve you. Once stabilised you might consider moving next door for long term care, but in the acute phase the public system is the go.  I assume your bypass was urgent.

But surely you understand that taking a non urgent illness through the public system, just because it is free and you could afford insurance, a person is clogging up the system at the expense of those that have no other option but go public.

Or maybe some people just don't care about the genuine welfare cases.



No argument there, Norton. Your knowledge of the system is far, far greater than mine

I fully understand that non urgent cases should never end up in the emergency ward. Many years ago I had the most terrible toothache imaginable and couln't bear the immense pain. It was 1 AM and in desperation, I rocked down to Balmain Hospital to try amd get some relief. Saturday night it was, with the emergency dept overloaded with fight victims, car accident cases and a few overdoses and such. After about for hours, sitting amongst the casualties, a lady announced to the full area. "Where is that fellow with the toothache" Although I was probably in more pain than most (I didn't have the alcohol seditive) I sheepishly wandered past the eyes of all and got some treatment (Must mention it was pre late night medical centres and chemists).

With the bypass, was at work and everyone kept telling me how bad I looked. And I felt very ordinary. Was taken down to the hospital where they ascertained I wasn't having a heart attack. kept me there for for days doing a battery of tests that showed bugger all. Finally, they thought I should have an angiogram and was tranferred the next day for one. Endede up having 99% blockage in one (That one wasn't the one that killed you, the doctor told me) and 90-95% in the other two (They did).

Was booked in for a triple which took two weeks to happen and was kept in hospital for that time, despite my insistence that I should go home and come back on the day. It was supposed to be earlier, but my surgeon in the meantime dropped dead of a heart attack, aged 46, on his morning jog. Was in intensive care for 4 1/2 days and kicked out of the hospital on the sixth day. Couldn't understand why the op took 7 hours. The surgeon who did it told me when I went for a checkup a month or so later that he had a busy day that day and had to attend to a few emergencies whilst he was doing me. Guess they just leave you for a while here and then and let the heart-lung machine do it's bit. I can't sing high enough praises for all the hospital people (Liverpool Hospital) When my late sister heard of my plight, she was living in New York and insisted that I go to St Vincent's. I said I haven't got the choice. She said that she would pay (Think about $50k was mentioned.) I refused the kind offer.

Haven't had a stroke or been hit by a train recently so can't comment on the care they would receive but I imagine it would be pretty decent.

Our system has flaws in it, but I reckon it's pretty damned good, despite the "Human Headline" on this forum that delighted in bad mouthing a certain hospital recently.

Private health insurance is a good vehicle for those that can afford it and want to be covered for non-essential incidentals (Dental, optomitry, physio's, cosmetic etc.

If you just require the basics to keep breathing, public is fine.

In my opinion anyhow.

Offline gratlog

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« 2011-Feb-27, 12:07 PM Reply #46 »
My son's father in law is a ambo driver of many years and he tells me that the biggest problem is that people go to emergency departments for things like the flu when a trip to the local GP is the right thing to do.

As far as coverage goes it would be hard to beat the coverage ex defence people like my son gets.

he has had to serve 22 years in the Army but now he is out they really give him top class treatment when needed.

Offline dubbledee

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« 2011-Feb-27, 12:11 PM Reply #47 »
WW, my comments relate to HOSPITAL cover, rather than the "extras" you mention.  IMO, premiums and conditions of extras make such cover a poor bet.  And you can be sure I'll not pay one cent to any company that covers "alternative medicine".

Offline Walter Watermelon

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« 2011-Feb-27, 12:15 PM Reply #48 »
WW, you've obviously got a good result, and as Norton implies, it seems you were in  need of urgent attention.  Good news that you were attended to.   emthup  

What shouldn't be dismissed though, is the length of the waiting lists for cardiac surgery.  You might be diagnosed with non-urgent artherosclerosis which puts you on a list - and you might stay there forever (or die in the meantime).  The last thing I'd want is to be thinking "I have a potential coronary blockage, so I'd best stop taking quaddies."   :lol:  


I did have private health cover up till some time in the nineties. Even covered me overseas which was handy as I had my appendix out in Switzerland in 1983. Sent the bill off to the insurer for payment and a month later they sent the cheque, to me   :biggrin:  Never got a prompt letter from the hospital outside of Zurich so I kept the payment in a holding pattern, till this day actually.  :whistle:

Probably a bad call to flick the fund as we tend to need it more the older we get, but I haven't regretted it since.

Offline Norton

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« 2011-Mar-01, 05:23 PM Reply #49 »
Norton is pleased to hear rumours that his mate Malcolm Holmes is to be appointed CEO of the Lions AFL organisation.  Malcom is a Kiwi, but we can overlook that.  He was CEO of the Brisbane Turf Club (where Vadim and I were Directors) up until the merger with the QTC that formed the Brisbane Racing Club that DD is responsible for.

Buggar, my mate takes over at the 'Gabba and I just wrote a cheque for my membership of the Brisbane Cricket Ground Trust. 


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