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Catholic Health says real care costs demand special health CPI

Catholic Health Australia yesterday called on the Federal Government to implement a separate health CPI for the purposes of meeting what it calls the "real costs" of essential health care.

CEO Francis Sullivan supported the Government's announcement yesterday that it would permit annual increases in private health insurance premiums equivalent to the consumer price index, but pointed out that many specific health care costs are rising at a rate above the general CPI.

"The specific drivers of health care costs such as capital intensive technology and complicated and complex care for an ageing community plus the heavy demand on medical and surgical services means that the inflation rate for health care is significantly higher that the general CPI," he said.

"Rather than restricting health funds to community-wide movements in costs it would be more sensible to establish a health-specific inflationary index, so that the real costs of providing essential care can be met by insurance groups.

"The Government must ensure that people with complex, long-term and chronic illnesses will have access to care and not be costed out of private health insurance."

CPI link threatens new health slug (The Australian)
Catholic Health Australia
Australian Department of Health and Ageing

Catholic Health Australia

12 Sep 2002