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New figures reveal steady decline in funds for Private Hospitals

Catholic Health Australia has pointed out that Friday's release of the latest private health insurance statistics shows the steady decline in the share of payments to hospitals since the introduction of the 30% health insurance rebate.

"Although private hospitals are being asked to do more elective surgery and reduce public hospital pressures, they have slipped back to the proportion of benefits they received at the end of 1992," said CHA CEO Francis Sullivan.

"In 1992 only 40% of the population were health fund members," he said. "Now with over 43% coverage, health funds are diverting money away from acute hospital care to ancillary products."

Mr Sullivan said the since the introduction of the 30% rebate, over $1 billion of benefits have been lost to direct hospital payments, and this threatens the long term sustainability of the private hospital sector.

"Governments should act to correct this decline because a sustainable private hospital sector is crucial to the role of a pressure valve release for public hospitals," he said. "It is vital that the Commonwealth ensure the longer term certainty of the hospitals and pull the policy levers to reinstate their funding base."

Cathoilc Health Australia

Catholic Health Australia
Catholic Health draws attention to alarming care cost rises (25/7/03)
Catholic Health says hospitals starved of funds (19/5/03)

18 Aug 2003