Public Hospitals in New South Wales (NSW)
Public Hospitals in NSW are funded by the Commonwealth and State Governments of Australia. The current minister for Health in NSW is the hon. Reba Maegher who is responsible for the administration of health legislation in NSW. Australian citizens and permanent residents are entitled to free hospital cover and free visits to medical practitioners under Medicare. Medicare Australia was set up in 1984 to provide Australians with the best possible health care and is regarded as one of the best health care systems in the world today.
NSW Health is responsible for the running of hospitals, emergency transport, aged care services and mental health. As a public patient you can be admitted to a NSW public hospital by either being referred by a specialist or going through the accident and emergency ward where urgent medical attention is needed. If you are referred to a NSW public hospital it's important to have a letter of referral from your specialist to book an appointment. You may also be treated as a day patient which means you will be treated or have tests done and not be required to stay in hospital overnight.
If you have an appointment booked with the hospital and you need to cancel then it's important to contact the hospital to reschedule your appointment and at the same time they can give your appointment time to another patient on the waiting list. If you are admitted into a NSW public hospital then it's extremely important for you to tell the staff in the hospital of any ongoing treatment or medical condition that may affect treatment which you are to undertake. You are also required to tell the staff of any medication you might be on or recreational drugs that may be in your system as this may affect the medication that you are given. As a patient you are expected to have the appropriate information and input into any treatments which the doctor may recommend for you. If English is not your first language then it's sometimes possible for the hospital to provide an interpreter to help you understand the treatment that the doctor may recommend for you to undertake.
If you are treated in a NSW hospital then you cannot be discriminated against because of your race, religion, gender or sexual preference. If you are being treated in a NSW public hospital then you will also be required to show a deal of respect to other patients and also respect other peoples privacy especially if you are sharing a ward with other individuals.
The Australian Government has recently introduced a 30% rebate on Australians who take out private health insurance. This is to try to relieve the pressure and waiting lists in hospitals around Australia especially for treatment such as elective surgery. If you are admitted to a NSW public hospital then it's possible that they may refer you to a private hospital for treatment if your covered by your own private health insurance or they may give you the option of having treatment done in a private hospital.