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Media Statement: Medibank Private negotiations

Health Consumers Queensland General Manager, Melissa Fox has called for an end to the secret business surrounding the negotiations and agreement between Medibank Private and private hospitals.

“Consumers welcome measures which aim to increase our safety and improve the quality of services we receive. But when Medibank Private’s exclusions first hit the press during their negotiations with Calvary in Canberra, there was an outcry on social media. How can we as health consumers take control over our own health when we are left out in the cold on these important negotiations that will have a direct impact on our care?”

“Particularly distressing for many is the thought of families being charged by hospitals in the event of a death during childbirth or suicide in hospital”.

“As Medibank Private’s negotiations with private hospitals roll out across the country, we still don’t know which ‘adverse events’ are being excluded. Are these exclusion lists different for each hospital that signs a contract with Medibank Private? We don’t know because the deals aren’t being released to the public. Who is going to pay should things go wrong?” said Ms Fox.

“Health consumers deserve transparency. We pay ever-increasing amounts for our private health insurance premiums, gaps and other out of pocket costs. For older people, this can be a large proportion of their income. Our taxes pay for the private health rebate. We want to know what we are getting for our money”.

“Consumer faith in the health system has been shaken over the years. We need to know our services are in our best interest, are safe and we are getting fair value for money”.

Health Consumers Queensland is the peak health consumer organisation representing the interests of Queensland’s health consumers and carers.

The organisation is committed to a health system which delivers quality and safe health services and values the voice of consumers in how health services are designed and delivered.

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For further information contact Melissa Fox on 0404 882 716 or melissa.fox@hcq.org.au