When you get sick are you prepared to join the public hospital waiting list or could you afford to pay for private treatment?
It’s hard to predict what health problems you may experience in the future. Unfortunately not all treatments or costs will be covered by the public health system, and the public health system may not give you control over the timing or quality of the care you receive. For those without health insurance, surgery waiting lists are a fact of life. If you wanted to hurry things along, the only option would be to pay for private treatment yourself. But! Would you be able to afford the costs?
In New Zealand we have two health systems: A Public Health System (public funded) and a Private Health System (funded by ‘user pays’).
The public health system focuses primarily on acute (emergency) services while the private health system deals with elective (planned) services. While we are fortunate in New Zealand to have a good public health system that deals well with emergency situations it is often very limited in its ability to deal with elective or non life threatening procedures. Elective procedures, while generally not immediately life threatening, can have a profound effect on our quality of life. Whether it’s painful haemorrhoids, a child’s tonsils being removed, a hip or knee replacement or a more serious heart bypass or cancer treatment, health insurance allows us to avoid waiting lists that can stretch for months or even years and regain that all important quality of life.
When it comes to acute (emergency) services, the public health system in New Zealand is excellent. Unfortunately, you are unlikely to receive the same level of urgency if you are suffering from a non-acute medical condition.
For example, if you had a heart attack and your survival depended on surgery, you would be treated immediately. On the other hand, if you were diagnosed with a heart condition that was not immediately life threatening, but you still required surgery, you would go on a waiting list. In a life or death situation, there is no argument about who should be treated first, but in the meantime while you wait (months, sometimes years) for surgery, your life is on hold. Consider that you may be unable to work and this may lead to financial hardship, along with having to cope with a very serious medical condition.
Having health insurance gives us the peace of mind of knowing we can gain immediate access to hospitalisation when and where we need it while having the often significant costs involved covered.
Simply put – health insurance books us a hospital bed or treatment spot when and where we need it and we know the sooner a condition is treated the better the chance of cure and the quicker the recovery time
An Adelphi Insurance adviser can sit down with you and your partner, in the comfort of your home, and develop your family’s Personalised Insurance Plan to determine the ideal Health Insurance cover you need for your family’s unique circumstances and needs.
Food for thought...
nzhearld.co.nz Wednesday June 13 2012
“More than 3000 patients seeking elective services were turned away by the Auckland District Health Board last year before they had been physically accessed by a board specialist. That is more than 10 each working day”.
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