Updated March 10, 2018 10:56:40 A new study finds that Medicare’s anaesthesia fee is higher than most hospitals in Australia, costing the average patient between $7,000 and $13,000 a year more.
The study by Melbourne Hospital and Hospital of Eastern Victoria (HMIEV) found that the average Australian patient pays about $3,000 more than the average hospital in Australia.
The research by HMIEV, which is funded by the Commonwealth, found that patients at the top of the cost hierarchy paid an average of $3.13 per day for anaesthetic services.
Patients at the bottom paid an extra $1.70 a day.
The average Australian hospital has about 100 beds.
However, this study also found that about 50 per cent of hospitals in Western Australia, which has a population of around 2.8 million, charge an average patient more than $7.80 per day.
This means a typical patient in WA would pay about $2,300 a year for their anaesthesia.
The most expensive hospital in WA was the Victorian Hospital of Western Australia ($5,250), followed by the Perth Hospital ($4,800), Canberra Hospital ($3,400) and Brisbane Hospital ($2,900).
This means the average WA patient pays $2.60 a day for their surgery, which amounts to an extra total of about $12,600 a year.
In contrast, the average Victorian patient paid $2 per day, which means a total of $13.60 per day of expenses.
The cheapest hospital in Western Australian was the Canberra Hospital, which charged an average $2 a day and was only the second hospital in the state to have the lowest cost of any in the country.
This meant the average Western Australian patient paid just $2 for an average surgery, or about $9.50 a day of costs.
A more expensive hospital is the Sydney General Hospital ($5.50), which has two floors of surgery and a third floor for the emergency department.
This costs $5,000 to operate, and $5 for a hospital day.
Other hospitals with higher costs include St Vincent’s Hospital in Victoria ($6,000), the Royal Melbourne Hospital ($6.50) and the Alfred Hospital in South Australia ($6).
The study also showed that the median cost of an anaesthetic for an Australian aged between 17 and 24 was about $10,000, but it was also reported that the cost of anaesthesia for children aged between three and five years was $4,500.
It is unclear how many people have an anaesthesia cost for their family doctor, and the study did not look at whether or not a family doctor’s office was the cheapest place to get an anaesthesiologist.
However if you are considering a GP appointment, it is advised to do a price comparison on the online platform AOAC.
For more information on the study, go to anaesthesia pricing calculator.
This is not the first time the study has been criticised.
A review of a study into the costs of an elective surgery by a Melbourne Hospital-based anaesthesia centre in May 2018 found that there were serious issues with the research and that the study’s methods were “inadequate” and did not provide enough information.
The review also found the study was based on a survey of just 2,000 anaesthetists.
In March 2018, the Federal Government announced it would be launching a National Institute of Health and Welfare-funded study into anaesthesia costs.
The National Institute for Health and Development (NIDH) will work with the Victorian Government and other public health agencies to carry out a wide-ranging study into hospital-based elective procedures and procedures in Victoria.