Preparing for hospital – everything you need to know

Here's what you need to know before going into hospital.

Here's what you need to know before going into hospital. Photo Getty

Nobody wants to spend time in hospital unless they absolutely have to. For many people, understanding what might be involved during their stay will go a long way to reducing any stress.

Knowing what will happen, whether it’s public or private care, can help in the lead-up to any hospital visit.

While hundreds of different types of procedures are performed every day in Australian hospitals, some of the most common that our Members Own team get asked about are:

  • knee and hip replacements, including arthroscopy
  • heart procedures, such as coronary angioplasty, coronary bypass and heart valve replacements
  • prostate removals and urinary treatments such as cytoscopy and hysteroscopy
  • digestive procedures, such as colonoscopy, gastroscopy and gallbladder removal
  • Ear, eye, nose and teeth procedures, including cataract removal and tooth extraction
  • Pregnancy, childbirth and IVF.

Talk to your GP or specialist prior to your hospital visit

While every procedure has its own requirements in terms of preparing for hospital and what will happen on the day, it’s always good to talk with your GP, specialist or surgeon beforehand.

Things to ask include:

  • Why am I having the procedure or surgery?
  • Will I need to stop eating or drinking on the day of the procedure?
  • How long will I be in hospital for?
  • How much will my hospital stay cost?
  • Can I drive home after the procedure?
  • Are there any common side effects or complications with my surgery or treatment?
  • What type of post-procedure care will I need when I get home? (This is often known as a “post-acute care program”.)
  • What’s the typical recovery period for this treatment?

As you’ve probably been told, your procedure will fall under a different category, depending on what kind of surgery it is. These are generally  elective/non-urgent and non-elective/urgent.

If you have private health cover, you might be serving a waiting period for elective surgery, such as a joint replacement. Or you could be on a public hospital waiting list – which can be frustrating, especially if you’re in pain or discomfort.

Deciding on private health for your hospital needs

Private health insurance patients can avoid the long waits by being treated in private hospital. This will mean you are treated at a convenient time for you, and you can choose who does the procedure.

Having health cover can also save you in medical costs for hospital visits. On top of this, depending on policy and availability, you might be able to stay in more luxurious hospital accommodation and enjoy the benefits of your own room, a private bathroom, and even a TV.

Compare online and find great health insurance

Members Own’s comparison service makes it easy to compare between hundreds of health insurance options from most of the Members Own funds. Browse for cover that suits your needs and budget, create a shortlist of policies you want to compare side-by-side, and save your search.

It’s quick and easy to join online and you get the same great price as buying direct.

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