Health Check

Is it safe to go to hospital during COVID-19?

What you can expect if you’re planning on going to hospital.

Written by Editor Medibank

You may be wondering if it’s safe to go to hospital for existing appointments during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hospitals have introduced strict hygiene measures, as well as patient and visitor restrictions, for your safety. You’ll find all the relevant patient information on your hospital’s website, so it’s best to check there, or with your doctors, for the most recent updates.

In the meantime, here’s an overview of what you can expect if you’re planning on going to hospital:

Pre-existing condition patients

Please contact your doctor or hospital for advice if you are receiving ongoing treatment or if you are due to go into hospital for a scheduled admission .

Elective surgery patients

The recent easing of restrictions on elective surgeries means that from April 27 private hospitals can start to resume some elective procedures for private patients. These include:

  • Hip, knee & other joint replacements
  • Assisted reproductive services (IVF)
  • Post cancer reconstructive surgery
  • Screenings and testing procedures
  • Critical dental procedures
  • Colonoscopies & endoscopies
  • Cataracts and eye procedures
  • Surgery for children under 18.

Please note that emergency surgeries are not affected.

If your elective procedure was affected

Your treating doctor or hospital will confirm with you if your procedure is going ahead. We also recommend speaking with Medibank to confirm what is included in your cover. Once your surgery is confirmed to go ahead, our Hospital Assist team is here to provide personalised health support to help you prepare for, or recover from, your hospital stay or treatment. For more information, you can call the Hospital Assist teams on 1800 789 414, 9am-5pm AEST.

Maternity patients

If you’re a soon-to-be parent, you can take assurance in the fact that hospitals are taking extra precautionary measures. These include patient screenings, like temperature testing and checking for respiratory symptoms, ahead of admission. There are also restrictions on visitors and night nursery visits, and childbirth classes have been cancelled.


If you’re planning to visit someone in hospital, be aware that hospitals are strictly limiting the number of visitors. In most cases only close family or carers can visit, with the patient’s approval. If you’re allowed to visit you’ll be screened for a temperature and any symptoms of respiratory infection. Further restrictions are being put in place in high-risk areas such as intensive care units, oncology units, dialysis units, and special care nurseries.

Medibank Hospital Assist

Medibank Hospital Assist helps our eligible hospital members better manage the stress and confusion of going to hospital. It’s our way of providing the extra support you need, when you need it most. Find out more.

Written by Editor Medibank

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