The Australian Government provides a basic universal health insurance, ‘Medicare’. Private health insurance in Australia is limited to those services not covered by Medicare or to services provided in private hospitals.
Australia’s health system is sometimes described as a ‘mixed system’, because private funding and services operate alongside the public system. Private health insurance provides cover for private hospital services and many out-of-hospital services not covered by Medicare (such as dentistry). Consumers with private cover can avoid potentially long waiting lists in the public system and choose their own doctor.