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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Private health insurance costs, Emergency Department wait times and COVID-19 vaccination program top list of concerns for Australians

Health Industry Hub | October 13, 2021 |

MedTech News: The Australian Healthcare Index, released this month, provides a pulse check on healthcare in Australia based on the perspectives and experiences of 4,000 consumers.

Adults across the country provided personal points of view and experience across the public and private healthcare ecosystem with primary care, private health insurance (PHI), emergency departments, elective surgery, prescription medicine and timely COVID-related insights.

Australians rated their healthcare a 7.6/10 average, with top reasons including good access and availability, good private hospital experience and good quality healthcare.

Private health insurance (PHI) costs, the COVID-19 vaccination program and Emergency Department wait times topped the list of concerns for Australia.

While some people feel positively towards PHI for their hospital and extras coverage, others continue to question the value for money and cost.

Half of those surveyed had PHI. Thirty one (31%) of this group felt that poor value for money, price of insurance not being affordable and poor extras coverage were the top three reasons for not recommending their PHI. 70% of this group zeroed in on poor value for money while 55% felt costs was a significant issue. Dissatisfied age groups mainly included 35-64 year old consumers.

At the time of the survey, 8% of people were waiting to have elective surgery with a majority of those planned for public hospitals. Forty four percent (44%) of people needing elective surgery have been waiting 90+ days, including 30% of people needing a Category 1 surgery and 55% needing a Category 2 surgery. This reflect the current stress on the public and private hospital systems, implications of the pandemic and additional risks to people’s health with the delays.

For those holding back from the COVID-19 vaccines, 7% said they didn’t want to be vaccinated, 34% were waiting for a different vaccine and 17% were undecided. For those who don’t want to be vaccinated, top reasons were they don’t think the COVID-19 vaccine is safe (76%) and they were afraid of the side effects (47%).

The Australian Healthcare Index is produced by the Australian Patients Association and Healthengine.


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