Public Hospitals in Northern Territory (NT)
The Department of Health and Community Services run public hospitals in NT. If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia then you are entitled to free public hospital cover in the Northern Territory. The Department of Health and Community Services is funded by the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Government.
Medicare was introduced to Australia in 1984 and was set up to provide health care to all Australian citizens and permanent residents of Australia which is paid for by a percentage of tax which is deducted directly from peoples pay. In recent times the Australian Government has given a 30% rebate to Australians who take out private health cover with a registered Private Health Insurance company. This has been done to take the strain off the public health system in Australia that is currently seeing record high waiting lists for treatment such as elective surgery. With the Australian population ageing it is putting more and more pressure on the public health system. If you do have private health insurance then it will probably be a lot quicker to go through a private hospital if you need treatment such as elective surgery.
To be admitted to a NT public hospital then it's usually a case of you needing to be referred by a specialist. You will usually go to your local general practitioner first who will then refer you to a specialist who will refer you to a public hospital. The specialist will provide you with a letter that you will need to provide to the hospital first before they book you in for an appointment. It's important to note that when you are referred to a NT public hospital then the amount of time you have to wait to be admitted will depend on the urgency of the treatment which is required. As mentioned before if you are admitted for treatment such as elective surgery there may be quite a delay before you are admitted. You can also be admitted into a public hospital in the NT if you enter through the accident and emergency department. This is when you require urgent medical treatment because of an accident or sudden illness.
If you are admitted into a Northern Territory public hospital then you are consulted first as to any treatment that you may need. You will have to disclose any ongoing medical treatment you may be undertaking at the time. You will also be asked if you are on any other prescribed medication or whether you have taken any recreational drugs recently which may affect any treatment that is given to you. If you are booked in for an appointment within a Northern Territory public hospital then it's important that you ring them to cancel if there is a reason you cannot make it. Because of the waiting lists in most public hospitals they will then have time to book someone else into your spot and save time on any other waiting list. When you are admitted to a NT public hospital then you must be prepared to go to another NT hospital should the initial hospital not have the appropriate facilities to treat you.
The Department of Health and Community Services in the Northern Territory run hospitals in Darwin, Alice Springs, Katherine, Tennant Creek and Nhulunbuy. They offer people general inpatient, outpatient and emergency services. The Department of Health and Community Services Northern Territory also run a wide range of programmes to provide Northern Territorian’s with greater knowledge about staying healthy.