Patients often find going to hospital very challenging, the survey shows.
Patients often find going to hospital very challenging, the survey shows.

Hospital stay confusion as 'stressful as buying home'

Going to hospital is more confusing than buying a house for many people, a survey of patients shows.

Medical language, unfamiliar surroundings, noises and dealing with strangers is as challenging for many patients as moving to a foreign country.

The experience is often made worse by the shock of the diagnosis in a specialist's rooms when patients are told they need an operation.

This may blur memories of some of the basic information given.

Dr Linda Swan, Medibank chief medical officer
Dr Linda Swan, Medibank chief medical officer

A Medibank survey of 1020 adult hospital patients found:

MORE than a quarter (28 per cent) found navigating the hospital system more confusing than buying a home.

NEARLY half (45 per cent) felt there was not enough support for those going to hospital, causing stress, confusion and feelings of isolation.

SOME 39 per cent turned to the internet to find out what to expect in hospital.

A QUARTER wished they'd had someone to talk to out-of-hours ahead of their hospital visit.

HALF spent more than three hours seeking advice about their upcoming admission, and a quarter spent five or more hours.

Patients wanted to know more about their treatment, recovery expectations, pain relief or medicine, diet, and how to prepare their home for when they were discharged.

Medibank released the survey to coincide with today's launch of their Hospital Assist "concierge" service where people can phone or go online to ask advice.


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