Wabnitz ENT
Before an Operation

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 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. Dr Wabnitz will then write a referral letter to the Department of ENT Surgery at that hospital requesting an appointment for your child. Following that appointment, your child will then be placed on the waiting list for surgery only if the ENT Surgeon who reviews your child agrees with Dr Wabnitz’s recommendation.

This option means that following Dr Wabnitz’s referral letter, there are two waiting periods – one for the appointment at the hospital (which unfortunately can take a few years in most cases), and then another wait for the surgery (which can take up to 12 months). Dr Wabnitz is not able to place public patients directly onto the waiting list for surgery – he is not able to bypass the assessment that a child has to undergo in that public hospital’s outpatient department (even if you were to see Dr Wabnitz both privately and publicly). In addition, the letter that Dr Wabnitz writes as a referral letter does not speed up the process – his letter carries no greater weight than any other referral letter from a GP or another Specialist.

If your child is ultimately placed on Dr Wabnitz’s public 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).

Surgery as a Private Patient

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

Note that if surgery is to take place at the Women’s & Children’s Hospital as a private patient, then there can be wait of up to 12 months – this is determined by the urgency or category of the surgery. 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.

Furthermore, scheduling of surgery itself is done by administrative staff at the Women’s & Children’s Hospital rather than by Dr Wabnitz’s staff at his rooms.

There are two ways that surgery as a private patient can be funded, depending on whether you have Private Health Insurance…

Surgery as a Private Patient – covered by Private Health Insurance

If your child is covered by Private Health Insurance with Hospital Cover (and not just Extras Cover), then this usually covers most of the costs of surgery. However payments made by Private Health Insurers have not kept pace with the cost of providing medical care – as such Dr Wabnitz’s fee for surgery is often not completely covered by the payment made by the Private Health Insurer. In other words, there is usually a gap payment made by you to cover the difference in Dr Wabnitz’s fee and the payment made by your Private Health Insurer to Dr Wabnitz. You will be made aware of this gap payment at the time of booking surgery, and this is payable prior to surgery.

Please note that there may be other fees (see Surgical Fees & Charges).

Surgery as a Private Patient – Self-funding

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.

Please note that there may be other fees (see Surgical Fees & Charges).