Do I need to pay at a public hospital?
Public hospitals provide high quality medical care and are free for Australian citizens and most permanent residents - that is, for anyone with a Medicare number.
In Australia, the cost of hospital treatment can vary depending on whether you are treated as a public or private patient.
Here’s a brief overview:
- Public patients: treatment at public hospitals is free for public patients enrolled in Medicare. There are no out-of-pocket costs for treatments.
- Private patients: pay the difference between the doctors’ fees, the amount covered by Medicare and their private health insurer. This is often referred to as the ‘gap’ payment.
- Out-of-hospital treatment: for services outside of hospitals, patients pay the difference between the doctors’ fees and any Medicare payment. These services are generally not covered by private health insurance.
Hospital fees and payments
We offer our patients and customers convenient ways to make payments.
For further enquiries, contact our Customer Payments Team on (02) 5943 3879 between 9am - 5pm from Monday to Friday.
In-person payments can be made at any of Murrumbidgee LHD hospitals' cashier outlets. We accept payments by cash, cheque, credit card or EFTPOS (MasterCard and Visa).
You can mail us your payment using cheque or money order. Make it payable to Murrumbidgee Local Health District and ensure it is crossed as ‘not negotiable'.
Mail the completed cheque or money order to:
Murrumbidgee LHD Revenue
Locked Bag 10
BPAY® is an easy and secure way to stay in control of your bill payments from the security of your online banking.
You can choose which account to pay bills from, and schedule payments on a date that works for you, so long as you have funds available in your account on the scheduled date.
You may need to contact your bank to enable BPAY® on your account.
Your BPAY® biller code and reference number can be found on your invoice.
Using private health insurance in a public hospital
If you have any questions about being a private patient in one of our hospitals, contact us.
You can make a decision to be a private patient before, during, or after your stay in hospital.
Talk to your hospital’s Patient Liaison Officer (PLO) who can check your health fund coverage and inform you of your options.
Hospital admission, emergency administration and ward clerical staff can also help with enquiries related to private health insurance while you are in hospital, or they can put you in contact with the hospital’s PLO.
As a private patient you can choose the doctor or specialist who provides your treatment if that doctor or specialist has admitting rights in the hospital.
If you do not know any of the doctors at the hospital – being a private patient – it will still mean that the doctor or specialist will take personal responsibility for your care and may call other doctors into consultation to help with your care.
Private patients are given preferential access to a single room if one is available.
Most health funds cover patients for a single room in a public hospital. The hospital's Patient Liaison Officer can check this for you.
You will not be charged any accommodation excess for any admissions in Murrumbidgee LHD.
Patients are guaranteed the health service will waive any excess or co-payment for the cost of accommodation.
You will not receive any bills from the hospital. All hospital related bills will be claimed directly from Medicare and your private health fund automatically on your behalf.
In some cases, individual doctors may charge private patients gap fees.
However, most specialists have arrangements with health funds to help avoid patients paying any costs.
If you have any concerns about your medical bills, contact the hospital’s Patient Liaison Officer (PLO) for more information. You should also discuss this with your doctor.
Payments received from health funds go directly to your local hospital, helping to provide services to all in the community.
Your benefit becomes the community’s benefit when you use your private health insurance in your local public hospital.