Paediatric ENT Specialist Adelaide - Choosing Surgery as a Public or Private Patient

Choosing Surgery as a Public or Private Patient

If your child has been diagnosed with a condition that would benefit from surgery, you have two options on how to proceed:

Surgery as a Private Patient

The benefits of this are that you are guaranteed that Dr Wabnitz will be your child’s surgeon, and the date of surgery can be arranged at a mutually convenient time – usually within a few weeks.

There are two ways to proceed with this option depending on whether you have Private Health Insurance. If your child is covered by Private Health Insurance with Hospital Cover, then this usually covers the costs of surgery. Dr Wabnitz’s fee for surgery is often that which is scheduled by your Private Health Insurer. In other words, there is usually no gap paid by you over and above the fee that is paid to Dr Wabnitz by your Private Health Insurer. There are a few exceptions where a gap payment will be required – if this is the case, then you will be made aware of this at the time of booking surgery. Please note however that there may be other fees (see Surgical Fees & Charges).

The other way in which to proceed privately is as a self-funding private patient. There are generally three costs involved – the surgeon’s fee (Dr Wabnitz’s fee), the anaesthetist’s fee, and the hospital’s fee. If you wish, a quote can be provided for your child’s surgery, although this may not be readily available until the day after the consultation. Please note that there is some variability in fees charged by different hospitals and different anaesthetists. There may be additional fees if any specimens are sent to a Pathology Laboratory for tests. It can be difficult to predict if this will be required and so this is not usually included in the quote you receive.

Surgery as a Public Patient

Should you decide to proceed with this option, you will need to choose the Public Hospital where you would like your child treated. We can request that your child be placed directly onto the waiting list of the public hospital where Dr Wabnitz operates, which is the Women’s & Children’s Hospital.

If your child is placed on the waiting list for surgery at a public hospital, you need to be aware that typically waiting times are involved. Operations are classified as
Urgent – arrangements are usually made for surgery within 30 days
Semi-urgent – surgery should be carried out within 3 months
Non-urgent – cases under this category should be performed within 12 months, but there can be some variability in this.

If your child is ultimately placed on Dr Wabnitz’s waiting list this does not guarantee that Dr Wabnitz will perform the surgery, or even that he will be present at the time of your child’s surgery. In order to utilise public operating lists effectively, patients may be operated on by other surgeons, including appropriately trained/supervised Trainee Surgeons (Registrars).

If you choose a different public hospital to the Women’s & Children’s Hospital, then Dr Wabnitz will need to refer your child to that hospital’s Outpatient Department for an appointment which will involve an additional wait. Following that appointment, your child will then be placed on the waiting list for surgery only if the ENT Surgeon your child sees agrees with Dr Wabnitz’s recommendation.