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Catholic Health welcome's health insurance premium increase

Catholic Health Australia said on Friday that the Federal Government's decision to approve health insurance premium increases is sensible in the current climate of rising health costs.

CHA CEO Francis Sullivan said an average increase of 7.58% reflects the costs of providing care in acute private hospitals.

"CHA's own research indicated that at least a 7% rise in hospital benefits would be needed to meet the real costs of care over the next year," he said. "The key to the Government's decision will be the degree to which the health funds pass on directly to hospitals this funding increase."

"CHA is determined to put the case of hospital patients first and welcomes the Government's realistic approach to what it takes to deliver real health care," he said. "It is crucial that the community understands what real health care costs."

Mr Sullivan cited rises in nursing wages, insurance cover, medical technology costs and capital investment, which he said could only be covered through increased health fund benefits, patient fees or lost services.

"These premium increases will mean that the costs of care are more evenly shared across the insured community," he said. "The young and well will cross subsidise the care of the elderly and sick."

Catholic Health Australia represents the country's single largest ownership grouping of non government health, aged and community care services.

Government's Premium Increase Welcomed (Catholic Health Australia 27/2/04)

Health funds raise their fees (ABC PM 27/2/04)
Health insurance hike may drive people away (ABC AM 28/2/04)
Aged care funding needs new ideas (Insights 23/2/04)

30 Mar 2004