Choosing to be a private patient

Before your admission to Peter Mac you will be asked if you have private health insurance. If you have private health insurance, you will have the option to choose whether you wish to be admitted as a private or public inpatient.

What does it mean to be a private inpatient?

Choosing to be a private inpatient at Peter Mac means:

  • You can choose the doctor you want to be treated by as long as they have an agreement to treat private patients at Peter Mac.
  • You can choose to be treated by our doctor on duty and then elect to be admitted as a private patient under this doctor’s care.
  • You do not have to pay any private health insurance excess fees. Peter Mac will cover this or any co-payment required by your private health fund.
  • There are no ‘out of pocket expenses’ for most services including hospital accommodation, pathology and radiology.
  • The payment we receive from your private health insurance goes directly to the hospital. It is used to support cancer research, buy services and equipment and to improve the services we provide to the community.
  • Our Private Patient Liaison Officer supports you with hassle free billing and will help you and answer all your questions about your private inpatient accounts.

What about the costs of medications?

All patients, both public and private, will need to pay for their medications on discharge.

Pension cards, health care cards and safety net numbers can apply when buying your medications. If you hold any of these cards, please be sure to have these details with you.

What services are not covered by private health insurance?

There are some services not covered by private health insurance.

You will not be reimbursed for any of the following costs:

  • Visiting nurse service at home.
  • Telephone calls from your hospital phone that are not local.
  • Purchase or hire costs for any aids or equipment to make your home safer.

(Distance calls can be made but you will need to purchase a phone card from the front reception desk).

What bills will you receive?

We will send your Peter Mac bills directly to Medicare and your private health insurance.

Sometimes, we need to send our private patients to other hospitals for special tests. If this happens, you may receive a bill from the other hospital. If this happens, you simply need to send these bills to Peter Mac’s Private Patient Liaison Officer. The Private Patient Liaison Officer will claim them directly from Medicare and your private health insurance for you.

Sometimes, even when you are a private Peter Mac patient, we will need to send you to other hospitals for tests.

Some common questions

“Can I use my private health insurance in a public hospital?”

Yes, you pay for your private health insurance and it is your right to choose when and where you would like to use it.

“I only have basic health insurance, can I still choose to be a private patient?”

Yes, basic cover means that you are fully covered as a private patient in a shared room.

“If I am admitted as a public patient can I change this over and become a private patient?”

Yes, simply ask to see the Private Patient Liaison Officer who will answer all your questions and help change you from public to private.


If you have any questions or queries about this information or on being a private patient, please call:

Private Patient Liaison Officer

Phone: 03 8559 6086

Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm

Email: [email protected]

For general admission questions or queries, please call:

Admissions and registrations Office

Phone: 03 8559 5020

Monday to Friday from 6:30am to 8:00pm

Saturday and Sundays from 9:00am to 4:30pm.