Understanding your rights and responsibilities in hospital

Understanding your rights and responsibilites in hospital 

From medical costs, informed financial consent and trusting family members to make decisions on your behalf, understanding your rights and responsibilities is important.

Understanding your hospital cover

To avoid unexpected out of pocket costs and to help you feel more comfortable about your hospital stay, make sure you understand your GMHBA policy. If you need further information, we’re here to help.

Informed financial consent

Once you have chosen your specialist, ensure they supply you with an informed financial consent document. This document provides you with an estimate of fees for the proposed treatment and should indicate the medical gap or out-of-pocket expenses. Knowing how much your treatment will cost is called Informed Financial Consent or a ‘written estimate of fees’. 

Once your treating specialist and hospital have provided this information, you can review your proposed treatment plan

Power of Attorney

An Enduring Power of Attorney is a legal document where you appoint a trusted person of your choice to manage your assets and financial affairs if you are unable to do so due to illness or an accident or in your absence.

A medical power of attorney allows you to appoint someone to make decisions about your medical treatment if you become mentally or physically incapable of deciding for yourself. 

Choosing to be admitted as a Private Patient in a Public Hospital

As a member of a Private Health Insurance Fund, you have the option to choose to be admitted as a private patient in a public hospital. To do so you will be required to complete an Admitted Patient Election Form before, at the time, or as soon as practical after admission. 

You, or your legally authorized representative, should sign a statement acknowledging that you have been fully informed of the consequences of the election, that you understand these consequences and that you have not been directed by a hospital employee to come to a particular decision.

Once the election has been enacted as a part of an independent informed decision, your initial election status cannot be changed except in unforeseen circumstances. The election is valid for the entire episode of care in the hospital, commencing on your admission date.

It is important to be aware that your Hospital Insurance policy may not cover all of your hospital costs as a private patient in a public hospital. Please check with GMHBA what your policy will cover for any admission as a private patient in a public hospital.

Step 9: After your treatment

What to expect after a treatment or surgery can differ depending on your expected outcome. Understand what questions to ask your specialist after your treatment, and learn about rehabilitation and support.