Kingaroy Hospital emergency room.
Kingaroy Hospital emergency room. Tobi Loftus

Private health cover to skip queues

MORE Australians are opting to take out private health cover to avoid public hospital wait times.

The median waiting times for elective surgeries are at a 15 year high, with an average wait time of 38 days last year, according to findings from the Australian Medical Association.

Compare The Market health insurance expert Abigail Koch said opting for private health cover reduced this wait time significantly and gave patients freedom to choose their own doctor, and even dates for surgery.

"Patients with private health insurance wait less than half the time that public patients do for elective surgery,” she said.

Nearly one in three Australians adults, and two in five over the age of 65, paid for private health insurance to skip the long queues.

This was no surprise since Australians waited up to 193 days for a knee replacement and 110 days for hip replacement surgery, Ms Koch said.

"It's no surprise that avoiding wait times is the most common driver for Aussies -especially those who are older to take out health insurance,” she said.

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