Health Minister launches CHA report on the impact of private patients in public hospitals

Federal Health Minister the Hon Greg Hunt MP today at Parliament House launched Catholic Health Australia’s (CHA) newest report examining how the growth of privately insured patients in public hospitals is impacting Australia’s health system.

The report, titled Upsetting the Balance: How the Growth of Private Patients in Public Hospitals is Impacting Australia’s Health System (available to download) is the not-for-profit Catholic hospital sector’s response to concerns about the significant increase in private patients in public hospitals. It finds that the trend is having a damaging effect on patients, stakeholders, as well as the balance of Australia’s mixed model health system, and ultimately, the universality of Medicare.

The report finds growing inequity between public and private patients, with private patients receiving a number of inducements in some public hospitals that are not available to public patients. There is also evidence that, on average, public patients are waiting more than twice as long as private patients for elective surgeries in public hospitals.

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