Patients who belong to private health funds are getting preference for elective surgery in public hospitals ahead of public patients, according to new data. The AIHW says in public hospitals “the time within which 50 per cent of public patients were admitted for their awaited procedure was longer for all of the 25 most common intended procedures compared with private health insurance funded patients”. For instance, private health fund patients had hip and knee replacement operations in public hospitals within 29 days while public patients had to wait an average of 88 days.