hospital bill

In Australia, public hospitals are operated and funded by each individual state’s health department. The federal government also contributes funding. Services in public hospitals for all Australian citizens and permanent residents are fully subsidized by the federal government’s Medicare Universal Healthcare program. Hospitals in Australia treat all Australian citizens and permanent residents regardless of their age, income, or social status.

The Brazilian health system is a mix composed by public hospitals, non-profit philanthropic hospitals, and private hospitals. The majority of the low and medium-income population uses services provided by public hospitals run by either by the State or the municipality. Since the inception of 1988 Federal Constitution, health care is a universal right for everyone living in Brazil: citizens, permanent residents, and foreigners. To provide this service, the Brazilian government created a national public health insurance system called SUS (Sistema Unico de Saúde, Unified Health System) in which all publicly funded hospitals (public and philanthropic entities) receive payments based on the number of patients and procedures performed. The construction and operation of hospitals and health clinics are also a responsibility of the government.

he system provides universal coverage to all patients, including emergency care, preventive medicine, diagnostic procedures, surgeries (except cosmetic procedures) and medicine necessary to treat their condition. However, given budget constraints, these services are often unavailable in the majority of the country with the exception of major metropolitan regions, and even in those cities access to complex procedures may be delayed because of long lines. Despite this scenario, some patients were able to successfully sue the government for full SUS coverage for procedures performed in non-public facilities.

Recently, new legislation has been enacted forbidding private hospitals to refuse treatment to patients with insufficient funds in case of life-threatening emergencies. The law also determines that the healthcare costs in this situation are to be paid by the SUS.

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