Treatments & procedures

Tools to help you plan for hospital

These HCF resources are designed to take some of the stress out of going to hospital, so you can concentrate on getting better.

Rosannah Snelson
March 2019

Having a procedure in hospital can be stressful. You may be nervous about the treatment, your recovery and potential costs, not to mention time off work and other responsibilities – we get it. That’s why we’ve developed tools and resources to help you understand your procedure, choose your specialist and hospital and avoid bill shock.

We want you to feel reassured and empowered to make informed decisions about your health, so take a look at the hospital tools below.

Finding a specialist

If your GP thinks you’ll need a hospital procedure, booking a specialist who participates in our Medicover scheme can help you reduce out-of-pocket costs. We have arrangements with specialists across Australia who provide over 95% of their services with no-gap or known-gap (capped at $500). Doctors who participate in our scheme bill us directly, so you don’t have to worry about managing the bills.

Being aware of all the costs, understanding and agreeing to them is known as informed financial consent. You can find out more about doctors’ costs here.

Our search tool, powered by Healthshare, helps you and your GP find a participating specialist in your location. You’ll see their biography, location, contact details and how often they participate in the Medicover scheme.

Getting a second opinion

There may be times when you’d like to get a second medical opinion. Comparing medical advice can give you confidence if both doctors agree. Or if they don’t, it can provide you with a different view of your health and medical options.

We can help our members get a free confidential second opinion on their health condition from a network of local, independent medical specialists. Eligibility criteria applies to this service. Contact us to find out if you're eligible.

Find a participating hospital

Did you know that hospitals charge separately to doctors and specialists when you have a planned procedure? This cost covers things like your accommodation, the operating theatre and other parts of your inpatient care.

Avoid an out-of-pocket cost by using our search tool to find one of the many private hospitals in Australia that we have an arrangement with. If you’re treated at a participating hospital there will be minimal extra costs for services covered under your policy (except for any applicable excess or co-payment).

Preparing for hospital

Our Preparing for Hospital chapters explain what happens during a procedure and gives advice on how to prepare, what to expect in hospital, and what aftercare you may need. There’s also a list of questions you might like to ask your specialist.

There are procedure animation videos if you’d like to see how it’s done, as well as patient experience videos to hear firsthand insights. To get an idea of cost, and the difference your choice of doctor and hospital can make, you can use our cost indicator tool.

We’ve created guides for some of the most common procedures, including knee replacement, removal of tonsils, colonoscopy, and more – with new procedures being added regularly.

Hospital safety and quality search

Our online hospital safety and quality tool helps you compare hand hygiene and golden staph infection rates before choosing a hospital for your procedure.

Golden staph is a common bacteria that lives on the skin or in the nose. In most situations it’s harmless, but if it enters the body through a cut in the skin it can cause an infection. People who’ve been in hospital are at greater risk of golden staph infection because of their surgical and other wounds, as well as their contact with health care staff and proximity to other sick people.

Thorough hand washing and personal hygiene are important to keep the infection at bay.

Use the tool to compare up to 10 hospitals at a time and search by hospital, suburb or region.

Going to hospital?

Get insight into a range of common hospital procedures. Learn how they work, get an idea of cost and hear HCF members’ experiences.

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Understanding doctors' fees and charges is the key to avoiding bill shock.


Understanding informed clinical consent is just as important as knowing about your procedure.


Going to hospital can be stressful. We find out what you can and can’t bring to make your experience as comfortable as possible.

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