Hospital's bid for more private patients to 'maximise benefits'

ORANGE hospital wants more people to use their private health insurance at the hospital, saying the money will go towards providing more services and people won’t find themselves facing extra expenses.

Western NSW Local Health District (WLHD) chief executive Scott McLachlan says he is not asking  people who don’t have private health insurance to take it out, however, those who are covered can rest assured they will not have to make a gap payment if they visit Orange hospital.

“People who are already investing in private health insurance can maximise their benefits further, for the benefit of themselves and their community,” he said.

Mr McLachlan said he was raising the issue as there were misconceptions about using private health insurance in a public hospital.

“What some people don’t realise is that by using their private health insurance at our hospitals and facilities, they are guaranteed that any excess or co-payment for the costs of their stay will be waived,” he said.

Resident Danielle Alcroft recently used her private health insurance at Orange hospital.

“There were no out-of-pocket expenses, the excess is considered paid, and the hospital looked after the paperwork, “ she said.

“I had access to my preferred specialist, but what I really like is that Orange Health Service benefits from the private health funds, which will then benefit the community,” she said.

As part of the federal and state governments’ Australian Health Care Agreement (2004), patients are always given the option to use their private health insurance when accessing medical services in Western NSW Local Health District hospitals and facilities,  Mr McLachlan said.

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