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Is the emergency department the best place for you?

If not, there are other options

Private and public patients


One of the important decisions you make when coming into hospital is to decide whether you would like to be treated as a private or a public patient.

If you have health insurance our staff can help you confirm the services covered by your health fund, including the advantages available if you have hospital insurance cover.

Private patient advantages

By electing to be admitted as a private patient at the Royal Adelaide Hospital you will enjoy a number of benefits, including:

  • No private health insurance co-payments or excesses.

How will the hospital and community benefit?

It is our aim to provide all patients with the highest possible quality and standard of care. The income we receive from your health fund helps to improve hospital facilities, update equipment and provide staff education and training.

How will you be affected financially?

  • If you have hospital cover, your health fund should cover the costs associated with your accommodation and prostheses charges.
  • Privately insured Medicare eligible patients are not liable for health fund excesses or co-payments at South Australian public hospitals.
  • Medicare and your health fund will cover 100 per cent of medical service fees if your doctor charges the schedule fee or participates in a Gap Cover Scheme with your health fund.

Note: Medical service fees are fees generated by your doctor, surgeon, anaesthetist, pathology or radiology departments.

Accounts made easy

We will lodge all of your claims to Medicare and your health fund on your behalf (where possible). Once hospital accounts are paid, you will receive a patient claim statement from your health fund providing details of all charges paid.

The importance of confirming your level of health fund cover

Our Patient Liaison Officer can confirm your level of health fund cover and let you know whether you are covered for your hospital stay. Please ask the hospital representative if you have any questions relating to your health fund cover or costs relating to your admission.

Can you still be a private patient if you don’t have private health insurance?

Yes, if you do not have private health insurance, you can still elect to be a private patient. As a self-funded patient, you will be responsible for meeting any costs incurred during your hospital stay that are not covered by Medicare.

How do you elect to be a Private Patient?

If you would like to be admitted as a private patient please let our staff know. A hospital representative will assist you to complete the necessary forms and help you make an informed choice to be admitted as a private patient.

All you need to do is provide your Medicare information and private health fund details.

For more information

You will be able to contact our Patient Liaison Officer on weekdays and weekends between 7am and 4pm.

Overseas Patients

Charges apply for services provided to non-Medicare eligible (overseas) patients.

Overseas patients are required to pay for costs of treatment where there is insufficient insurance coverage. Some health insurers do not cover the full cost of public hospital services.

Overseas patients who are admitted will be asked to provide their passport, Visa and any insurance details to enable costs to be recovered.

Aushealth has been appointed by the Royal Adelaide Hospital to work with patients for payment of fees. Aushealth will negotiate with the patient’s insurer to identify the level of financial coverage and out-of-pocket costs. Aushealth will discuss the costs with the patient. If the cost is not covered by insurance, Aushealth will seek payment for the services, or negotiate a payment plan.

Patients from a country with a Reciprocal Health Care Arrangement (United Kingdom, New Zealand, Malta, Italy, Sweden, Netherlands, Finland, Republic of Ireland, Norway, Belgium and Slovenia) can receive immediately necessary treatment as a public patient free of charge. This covers any ill health or injury which occurs while you’re in Australia and requires treatment before you return home. There are some specific Australian Government rules that apply for residents of each country that need to be considered case by case.

COVID-19 Information

Find out more about COVID-19, including visitor restrictions, changes to our operations and information on where you can get your COVID-19 vaccine.

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