Private Health Insurance & Tax

People criticize the public health system but at least it is all evidence based practice, even if the wait lists can be long.

I agree with the crux of your argument. But occasionally a short waiting time is part of the recommended evidence-based care. For example, I wrote elsewhere in this thread about being a referring doctor in SA where waiting times are shithouse. The national guideline for safe timeframe from first noticing a breast lump or suspected melanoma to removal is six weeks. If you cannot afford private sector care in SA and need to go private, they just manage to achieve the 6 week guideline for breast lumps (IME it's generally bang on six weeks to get an appt at the public hospital breast clinic in the city). However, they often do not meet that guideline for pigmented skin lesions referred to the dermatology or plastics outpatient clinics in the city. Even though GPs can remove skin lesions, occasionally a referral is necessary if it's a suspicious mole but the GP doesn't feel confident removing it themselves because it's in a cosmetically sensitive location, technically challenging, or large and may need a flap or graft. Over the years, I've ended up no longer referring to the hospital for suspected melanomas and try and get the patient in to another GP with a special interest or training, persuade the patient to pay a private dermatologist fee (a few hundred bucks), or plead with a dermatologist to bulk bill the patient or call in a favour from a plastics mate, that kind of thing. Once the mole has been removed and melanoma diagnosed, then the melanoma clinic at the hospital does see them pronto. Drives me nuts!

/r/fiaustralia Thread Parent