"Claimed as Private despite being Public"

About: Royal Melbourne Hospital

(as the patient),

I was quite happy for the Royal Melbourne Hospital to be able to reap the benefits from claiming me as a Private patient even though I’m listed Public - where they put this information I have no idea.

I come in regularly for treatment. My benefit for you claiming me as private was a voucher for coffee. I was only told the coffee vouchers about six months ago and have been having treatment for three years. I was told today that the coffees have now been cut out! Really, a coffee? For the benefit you get for claiming me as Private when I'm not. Next time they come around to get me to sign the appropriate paperwork for you I won’t be.  


Response from Sally Martin, Director, Quality, Improvement & Patient Experience, Melbourne Health

Dear earthtt84,

Thank you for posting your feedback. Within a public hospital it is possible for a patient to elect to be a private patient and also utilise their private health insurance. When this happens the patient receives their care at the public facility, however they are listed as a private patient. This helps public hospitals with additional funding to enable us to continue to offer the highest quality care in a safe and caring environment to the benefit of all of our patients and local community. When patients elect to be Private Patients we do not then claim a public visit. Having private patients helps us to provide an exceptional patient experience through improved services, new equipment, research and improved patient facilities.

Thank you for your support in the past. We understand and accept that at anytime you can elect not to be a private patient and your care will not be compromised in any way.

Recently we reviewed the coffee vouchers to ensure consistency against Commonwealth and State guidelines, and so to maintain a consistent provision of services to all our patients we have ceased the coffee service for the time being.

I hope that I have addressed the issues raised in your post. If you have any further questions please contact our consumer liaison service mailto:consumerliaison@mh.org.au

Sally Martin

Director Quality Improvement and Patient Experience

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