** Please note that if you are a public patient whose appointment was booked before 14.8.17, this change will not affect you**
For the past year, Dr Jefferson has been seeing patients with private health cover and patients without private health insurance in his private rooms at Jesmond. There are many Ear Nose and Throat conditions that do not require surgery. These problems can be assessed and managed in our private rooms without an operation.
Effective immediately, if surgery is recommended and you are not covered by health insurance you have two options:
- Referral to the public hospital
- Pay for the operation yourself (self-fund)
Public Hospital Patients
Dr. Jefferson no longer books patients to public operating lists from his private rooms.
If you are not privately insured and not in a position to pay for surgery out of pocket please let our receptionists know and they will forward your referral onto the public outpatient clinic at John Hunter Hospital.
As a public patient at a public hospital you will not receive a bill for any services provided while in the public system. If you elect to have surgery through the public hospital after seeing Dr. Jefferson at his private rooms (Ear Nose Throat Newcastle in Jesmond), you will be placed on the public hospital outpatient waiting list and will be reassessed at the public hospital outpatient clinic. As a patient referred to the public system you will not have a choice of surgeon.
Many patients choose to “self-fund” their procedure. This allows you to have the operation performed by the surgeon of your choice, at a private hospital on a date that is convenient for you. Dates for your surgery are usually available within a few weeks of your consultation.
Dr. Jefferson charges the Australian Medical Association (AMA) recommended rates. The costs associated with self-funded operations may not be as expensive as you might expect, especially for operations like tonsillectomy and grommet insertion, which can be day-only cases.
If you choose the self-fund option, you will get a portion of the cost back from Medicare. Click here to see some examples of our fees as well as the Medicare rebates.
In addition to the surgeon’s fees you will also be responsible for the hospital fees and anaesthetist fees. Our staff will be happy to advise you in making contact and obtaining quotes from both.
The reason for the change
Dr Jefferson has reviewed his commitments to both the public and private systems, and it has become clear that this change is warranted for the following reasons:
- By booking patients directly onto the public lists from the private rooms, those patients who have been waiting for surgery through the public system have been getting bumped further down the list
- With the added patients that were being booked in from our private rooms, Dr. Jefferson’s public surgery waitlists are severely over-extended