Choosing Your Path to Cataract Surgery: Private or Public Practice

Deciding to have cataract surgery is a big deal, and opting to have the procedure done is not the only consideration at hand. Another important decision to make is if you should have your cataract surgery performed through the public system or privately. This is not a trivial choice and can affect you in a range of ways- from how much you pay, to the level of attention and care you receive.

In this detailed blog, we will delve into the advantages and disadvantages of both public and private systems for cataract surgery, providing you with a comprehensive guide to assist you in making the best choice for your eye health.

Private practice:


1) Shorter Wait Times: Private practices often provide quicker scheduling for cataract surgeries. This reduced waiting period can be advantageous for individuals seeking a more immediate resolution to their vision concerns.

2) Personalised Care: Private practices pride themselves on offering a more personalised experience. Patients often receive individualised attention, with healthcare professionals catering to their specific needs and preferences.

3) State-of-the-Art Facilities: Private practices prioritise investment in the latest technology and state-of-the-art facilities. This commitment ensures that patients have access to cutting-edge equipment and advanced surgical procedures.

4) Choice of Surgeon: Patients in private practice typically have the flexibility to choose their surgeon. This option allows individuals to select a surgeon with expertise in cataract surgery, offering a sense of control over their healthcare journey.


1) Cost: The primary drawback of private practice is the cost associated with their services. While private health insurance can help cover some expenses, individuals without coverage may find the financial aspect prohibitive.

Public practice:


1) Affordability: Public practice is often a more cost-effective option, making cataract surgery accessible to a broader demographic. Government healthcare plans may cover a significant portion of the expenses, ensuring financial relief for patients.

2) Experienced Professionals: Public practice typically boasts a cadre of experienced ophthalmologists who are well-versed in cataract surgery. These professionals often have a wealth of expertise, having dealt with diverse cases over the course of their careers.

3) Regulatory Oversight: Public practice adheres to disciplined regulatory standards imposed by health authorities. This regulatory oversight ensures a high level of safety and quality in the delivery of healthcare services, including cataract surgery.


1) Wait Times: One of the drawbacks of public practice is the potential for longer wait times. The demand for services often exceeds the available resources, leading to delays in scheduling cataract surgeries.

2) Limited Personalisation: The sheer volume of patients in the public system can limit the level of personalised attention and care each individual receives. The healthcare system may prioritise efficiency over tailored patient experiences.

3) Facility Conditions: Public practice may face challenges in maintaining state-of-the-art facilities and incorporating the latest technology. As these are government funded facilities, budget constraints can impact the overall infrastructure and equipment available.


Choosing between a public and private clinic for cataract surgery is a decision that depends on individual circumstances, preferences, and priorities. If affordability is a primary concern, public practice may be the preferred option. However, for those valuing personalised care, shorter wait times, and state of the art technologies & facilities, a private practice is the ideal choice.

Author Bio

Dr Parth Shah is a leading ophthalmologist in Canberra, specialising in cataract surgery and strabismus surgery. With extensive training and experience, he is renowned for his expertise in the field. Dr Shah is dedicated not only to performing successful surgeries but also to patient education. His compassionate approach, combined with technical proficiency, has earned him the trust and gratitude of countless patients. He is a true advocate for eye health and a trusted name in the Canberra ophthalmology community.

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