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Self-funding your hospital care so you can choose your specialist

08 September 2021 Blog
Your private health care
Did you know, you can directly pay for your private hospital treatment and choose the doctor and health care provider who looks you after you? Our Chief Operating Officer Hospitals Bryan Pyne explains how you can do this.

One of the main benefits of private hospital care is that you get to choose your own experienced specialist who not only have many years of experience, but also have specialty and sub-speciality training in their area of expertise.

Choosing your own specialist means they get to know you, understand your needs, and cares for you from your initial consultation, through to surgery, in hospital and after discharge.

This gives you the opportunity to develop a strong and ongoing relationship with your specialist.

If you do not have private hospital insurance, you can still access the benefits of private hospital care, including the option to choose your specialist by self-funding your care.

Rachel’s story

Last year, one of our patients, Rachel Muray, was diagnosed with breast cancer but did not have private health insurance. She was able to access potentially life-saving surgery at a St John of God Health Care hospital under the care of a specialist of her choice, and this gave her and her family the reassurance they needed to get through this period.

Read more about Rachel’s story, to see why she chose to self-fund her care. 

So how self-fund your care to choose your own specialist?

1. Find a specialist

You can use our Find a Specialist search to find an experienced specialist who is an expert in their field. You can see their specialist information, contact details, photos and biographies. You may also have been recommended a doctor by a family member, friend or your GP.

2. Get a referral from your GP

See your GP to get a referral to see the specialist of your choice. Your GP can also provide you with an open referral, which you can take to any specialist, if you haven’t yet chosen your specialist.

3. Check if your chosen specialist offers a self-funded option

The first step is to speak with your specialist about the self-funding your care for operations and procedures. The best time to check with your specialist to see if this is an option is when you book your appointment.

4. Ask about likely costs

If you are choosing to self-fund it is important to know what the likely costs will be. You can ask your specialist at your first appointment. These may include fees for you surgeon, surgical assistant, and anaesthetist, general hospital costs and medications and scans.

To find out what the costs may be see our self-funded care information.

5. Have your surgery or procedure

If you are comfortable with the costs, you can go ahead and book your surgery or procedure with your surgeon. You will be asked about how you want to pay for your treatment when you come to hospital, and you may also have the option of using a payment provider to help cover the charges. 

You will need to pay the estimated cost of your treatment prior to your hospital admission. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask the admissions caregivers in the lead up to your surgery or procedure. After you have been discharged, you will be advised of any additional costs or a refund that you may be entitled to.  It is our preference these are settled on discharge or shortly after your stay.

St John of God Health Care Chief Operating Officer Hospital Bryan Pyne
Bryan Pyne - Chief Operating Officer Hospitals

Bryan Pyne is the St John of God Health Care Chief Operating Officer Hospitals. He has more than 20 years' experience in finance including more than 15 years with St John of God Health Care, including as Group Director of Finance since 2007. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and was the recipient of the 2010 40 under 40 Award (WA).