Going into hospital can be a stressful and
anxious time for patients and their families however with a little planning you can make your
visit as smooth and comfortable as possible. Begin by thinking about how you will get there.
Avoid driving yourself if possible. Consider booking a taxi or asking a friend or relative
to take you there. It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with the hospital’s parking areas
and nearest set down and pick up points. You’ll also need to think about what to bring.
Make a list and tick off items as you pack. Include living aids like glasses and dentures,
your regular medications, x-rays or scans you’ll need and, of course, your Medicare
card. If you have private health insurance make sure you bring details of your cover.
If you have private health insurance you can choose to be treated as a private patient.
Private patients can sometimes choose which doctor treats them. In a public hospital
private patients’ health insurance will cover the costs of medical services, accommodation
and other related costs. Some procedures will require you to fast or
eat only certain foods before coming to hospital. Make sure you contact the hospital beforehand
so you know of any special preparation you’ll need to undertake before coming to hospital.
Let someone know if you have difficulty speaking or understanding English, because you can
ask for an interpreter. It’s best not to rely on family members for interpreting on medical
matters. Most hospitals provide or have access to a free interpreter service.