Friday, September 9, 2011

The price of health care

Regular readers of my blog - all three of you - will already know how much I've complained about prices in Australia. Everything costs twice as much. Except used cars, which oddly seem to cost the same as in the USA, even though new cars cost twice as much.

Well, I went to the dentist today for a cleaning and check-up. The total bill was $102. In America I would pay $230 for the same service, at the hands of a dental hygienist instead of an actual dentist.

Other health care services, such as hospital stays, are also cheaper. When I tell people what the bill for Sophie was, they can't believe it. Here it would have cost 1/4 as much. Now you might argue that is because the government subsidizes health care; the actual out of pocket expenses for a hospital birth here with public care are probably similar to America with insurance.

But dental care isn't subsidized by the government at all. So why is it so much more affordable?


  1. Having a baby, including prenatal care, doesn't cost anything in Australia on the public health system (other than the 1.5% Medicare levy on taxpayers who earn over $19K).

    Then after the baby's born, the government hands you $5000.

  2. That's not quite true. They only gave us the $5,000 because our baby was the cutest baby in the world.