Waiting times – and the hidden costs

Aug 20, 2019 10:42:27 AM / by HealthCarePlus

When an unexpected medical event or crisis happens to your family or yourself - the last thing any of us wants to do, is wait for treatment.

But for the many New Zealanders without the protection of hospital cover, waiting for surgery or other forms of treatment can become a daily reality – significantly impacting their quality of life and their ability to exercise, stay healthy or work, and placing considerable financial and personal pressure on themselves, and their families.



Non-emergency surgeries in NZ have large waiting lists – and there’s no guarantee that you’ll even get on the list. If a DHB’s rating deem that your condition isn’t severe enough to qualify for a place on the waiting list (even if your doctor or specialist has put you forward) – you might need to choose between paying the full cost of elective private surgery (which for relatively common conditions, can easily exceed $30,000) … or waiting painfully until your condition becomes sufficiently worse!

Waiting lists are common in most western countries as governments battle to balance the ever-increasing cost of healthcare and an aging population. In NZ at any one time there can be around 110,000 people waiting for surgery - with the average waiting time (for those that qualify) around 10 months. For those affected, this could mean missing 10 months salary… 10 months without a social life or exercise… or 10 months living with discomfort, and the pressure of choosing between their money - or their health.



Without hospital cover, we can be reluctant to face the high costs of diagnostic tests, scans, specialist consultants or hospital treatment. If left unchecked or unattended, ‘minor’ issues may develop into bigger problems. This cost barrier to treatment can create significant pressure on many NZ families - which just adds to the impact of a medical event on your wallet, your health, your wellbeing, and your family.



While a properly designed hospital cover policy may remove financial pressure, and let you have access to specialist treatment and surgery much faster… even waiting to get covered, brings a hidden cost.

The earlier you sign up the better. You never know when your health may change, but once your policy is issued, and cover confirmed, you are covered for life.  Act now before any ‘pre-existing conditions’ occur as they may result in conditions being excluded or worse still, cover declined.

Through HealthCarePlus, eligible union members within the education and public services sectors can access a unique form of hospital cover designed to maximise value to members, not corporate profits.
Hospital Select is designed for the NZ health system - with up to $300,000 per admission providing realistic, affordable cover for surgery, cancer treatment, and a wide range of specialist consultations, scans and tests. 

To find out more about HealthCarePlus Hospital Select, and whether it can offer value to you or your family - you can book a personal consultation with one of our HealthCarePlus Representatives

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Source: “Assessing the demand for Elective Surgery amongst New Zealanders” conducted by TNS New Zealand in 2016. It involved 1800 people and has a margin of error of 3 percent. The research was funded jointly by Health Funds Association of New Zealand (HFANZ) and New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals’ Association (NZPSHA).



Tags: Hospital Cover