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Chapter 3 Section D: Rights in private hospitals

Most of your rights and obligations in private hospitals are the same as those that apply in public hospitals.

In this section you can find out more about:

3D.1: Private health insurance

Most patients in private hospitals are getting care and treatment that is paid for by private health insurers. In this situation, your right to particular health care, without having to pay extra, depends on the terms of your private health insurance policy.

If you have concerns, questions or complaints about private health insurance, you can contact the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman (PHIO) between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm, Monday to Fridays:

Complaints Hotline: 1800 640 695* (free call anywhere in Australia)
Telephone: (02) 8235 8777
Facsimile: (02) 8235 8778
Address: Level 7, 362 Kent Street,

Click here to visit the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman website.

PHIO also manages the website where you can find out about private health insurance and search for and compare selected features for all private health insurance products offered in Australia.

*Remember, mobile phone calls to freecall numbers (numbers starting with 1800) are charged to the caller at the usual mobile rate.

3D.2: Involuntary patients in private hospitals

Private hospitals can treat involuntary patients under the Mental Healh Act 2007 (NSW). To do so, the NSW Government must have approved designated the private hospital for this purpose.There are currently no private hospitals in NSW with approval to treat involuntary patients under the Mental Health Act 2007 (NSW).

The same procedure applies for you to be made an involuntary patient in a private hospital as in a public hospital.

3D.3: Behaviour in a private hospital

If a private hospital does not like the way you are behaving, it is allowed to ask you to leave. Private hospitals are less likely to be tolerant of what they consider to be disruptive behaviour than public hospitals. Arranging admission to another private facility in these circumstances is likely to be difficult, however unfairly you think the first hospital has treated you. The only alternative could be to be admitted to a public psychiatric hospital or unit.

Updated January 30, 2015