For many Australians, the idea of receiving affordable medical care and treatment is a common misconception. Although there are many treatments that are free for patients in public hospitals, it all depends on the current circumstance and availability.
For Helen Williamson, who was interviewed by the Sydney Morning Herald, the experience of the healthcare system was a negative one. With an aggressive tumour in her breast in 2011, Helen proceeded to do what she needed to survive.
The first step was to speak to her local General Practitioner, who had advised her the best procedure to give her the best chances was to go directly to a private hospital, with or without private health insurance.
Helen made a decision to save her life and decided to go with her GP’s recommendation of seeking assistance from a private surgeon. By doing so, she was able to get the surgery and treatment she needed in a couple of weeks compared to going on the waiting list via a public hospital that would of taken a couple of months.
”I just thought, ‘let’s get on with it, let’s get this cancer out’. I didn’t want to take the risk of having to wait for surgery in a public hospital because the longer you wait, the more your cancer can grow.”
However, with this decision came a $20,000 cost that was required. Helen reached out to family and friends for assistance. In fact, it also impacted the whole family, costing them their home in Melbourne.
This is just one example of what many Australians are experiencing. Fundraising for the costs for medical treatment can be a life and death changing experience. Getting medical treatment such as immediate surgery can mean better chances of survival, faster recovery and even fewer chances of complications.