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Catholic Health draws attention to alarming care cost rises

Catholic Health Australia has said there is very little comfort for the health sector in this week's announcement of a zero percent inflation figure for the past quarter.

CHA CEO Francis Sullivan yesterday resonsed to the release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of CPI figures showing health care costs rose by 7.5% in the past year, with hospital and medical services increasing by 10.3%.

Calling for a special 'health care index', he said: "These latest figures show the funding squeeze that is occurring in both health and aged care services."

"It is high time Commonwealth, State and Territory Health and Finance Ministers recognise the need for a properly constructed health care index so that funding arrangements in the public and private sectors are based on the real costs of care.

"This index will also provide the community with a more realistic understanding of the cost of providing quality care."

Mr Sullivan added that "Inflation may be zero percent in the wider economy but in health care the impact of large wage increases, technological change and rising costs for prostheses and insurance have resulted in a very different story".

"With the cost of providing high quality services in both the private and public sectors rising well ahead of funding, service providers and consumers are increasingly finding it difficult to make ends meet."

Catholic Health Australia

Catholic Health Australia

25 Jul 2003