Private health insurance allows you to be treated in a private or public hospital as a private patient. This means that you may be able to choose the doctor that treats you, the hospital you are treated in and a time for treatment that suits you. Private health insurance also provides cover for services not covered by Medicare such as physiotherapy, dental, optometry and podiatry services. Many people rely on private health insurance to access services they would otherwise be unable to afford.
The decision to purchase private health insurance is a personal choice. Those who cannot afford the premiums or do not wish to take out private health insurance can access the public hospital system through Medicare on the basis of clinical need.