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A jillaroo with a broken leg - breaks even

OUCH: The Jillaroo aka Charlotte Gerhardt in an ambulance after breaking her leg in a horse accident while mustering on her family’s St George cattle property.
OUCH: The Jillaroo aka Charlotte Gerhardt in an ambulance after breaking her leg in a horse accident while mustering on her family’s St George cattle property. Contributed

THIS week The Jillaroo from the Countrygirls' Out and About blog is our guest columnist.

The Jillaroo (also known as Charlotte Gerhardt from St George) shares her experience of the medical sector, after a mustering accident on her family property, Fairymont.

DID you know a bed in a private hospital costs $1200 a night?

And that intensive care beds cost even more?

That the anesthetist for a single surgery can cost more than $2500?

What about the fact the public health care system can sometimes not set a broken leg for up to a week after an accident?

How about that farm work is considered one of Australia's most dangerous professions?

I am the first person to recognise to recognise what happened to me was a freak accident. I have had horses fall on me in the exact same way so many times and never so much as sprained an ankle.

And what about private health cover?

Income replacement insurance?

Private health cover was not something I thought I could afford.

In fact, I can still think of so many better ways to spend $150 per month.

Or better still, not spend it at all!

But the fact is, had I not given in to the pressure from my parents and taken out a medium level cover, with extras, a couple of months before my fall from the horse, I would now either not have a leg or be facing a bill equivalent to buying a new car.

I thought private health cover was expensive - in fact, I can now pay into that fund for 20 years and not pay back what the fund spent fixing me.

I am the first person to recognise that what happened to me was a freak accident. I have had horses fall on me in the exact same way so many times and never so much as sprained an ankle!

And I know many people pay into insurance for many years and never make a claim.

But the one time that it ended with a serious injury - or even the chance that it might end in serious injury - makes owning a policy so much more worth it.

How easily my $40,000 hospital bill could have been $100,000 - or even higher!

I don't know many people who have that kind of money stowed away so they can afford to spend in one hit like that.

One of the things that happened to me, while I was in hospital, was the accounts lady came to visit me, holding a $32,000 bill and asked me what method I was going to use to pay it, and could she have my credit card details.

I was terrified, emotional, a very long way from home - and alone.

What a blessing that I was able to tell her - albeit through tears - that I had private health, and thought my insurer would pay for it.

She apologised and sorted out the mix-up immediately.

During a drought or tough financial time, insurance is often the first thing that gets cut from the budget.

But if we are honest with ourselves, can we really afford to not have it?

I know, for me and my family, insurance will be the last thing cut from my budget, while I continue to work or live on the land.

I sure hope it is for you, too.

For more stories from the Jillaroo, check out the Countrygirls Out and About Facebook page or go to http://www.ruralweekly.com.au.