The latest issue of Health Voices (the journal of the Consumers Health Forum of Australia) reveals some of the important issues currently facing the Australian healthcare system.
Mark Metherell, communications manager of the Consumers Health Forum, states that the average Australian is paying over $1,000 a year in out of pocket costs to meet "gaps" not covered by Medicare.
That's the fifth highest rate in the world, according to current affairs program AM.
"Medicare is supposed to guarantee everybody free public hospital care," Mr Metherell states, but often public hospitals encourage Australians with private health insurance to be treated as private patients, and this "exposes such people to gap costs".
Health Voices questions whether the whole Medicare system is out of date, as it appears to be failing those whom it's meant to serve.
"Outside hospital, there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who go without seeing a specialist or don't buy medicines prescribed by a doctor because of money worries," Mr Metherell said.
Australia's healthcare system can be quite complicated, so it pays to know exactly what you're covered for – whether by Medicare or your private health insurance – before you require treatment.
HICA can help you get your head around the system and can offer you a health insurance comparison if you're in the market for a new insurance policy.