I spotted this information in The Advertiser (13/06/11) and thought people might find it useful.
In South Australia 44.8% of the population have some form of private health insurance.
Mutual Community has a 42% market share and Medibank Private has a 22% market share.
I would imagine the figures for private health insurance in the UK is very low compared to this.
We are with Medibank Private for 'Extras' cover which covers for example dentist, chiropractor, podiatry, remedial massage. We get our yearly fees back alone just visiting the chiropractor, so we consider our cover good value for money. My partner recently needed 4 fillings and he got 70% back on the cost of the treatment which makes a huge difference in how much you actually pay out.
I would say the main difference between the UK and Australia with regards healthcare I have obseerved is that Australians take a more pro-active approach to their health and visit chirpractors and have remedial massages to maintain and prolong their health and mobility rather than because there is always a problem.