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SEPTERMBER, 2015

Private insurers wanting value for money
Comprehensive reports kept from public scrutiny
Private health sector resisting reform

Private hospitals are try to defend the right to receive payments when patients fall victim to preventable errors.

Their conflict over payments for ‘avoidable errors’ exposes the heart of problems with the private health industry.

It appears that some sections of the private hospital sector wish to receive the benefits of private business (medical specialists able to set their own fees, hospitals replacing chronically unwell patients with well patients having short-term procedures). While at the same time avoiding the normal elements of private enterprise, competition and customer service.

After failing to get the results of a four report showing the grading of Australian private hospitals by their error rates made public, Private Health Australia is pushing on for reform

Medibank Private are now determine to cease giving payments for hospital errors. The widespread resistance they are facing reveals the extent of problems with the health industry.

Hospitals simply refuse to be made accountable for their errors.

So far, Australia’s mainstream media have sided with the private hospitals, calling refusal to pay for their errors ‘unfair’.

Unfair to whom?

How many milk bars are allowed to demand money for sandwiches made with mouldy bread? How many tradesmen are allowed to charge for work on houses that subsequently collapse?

Unfortunately, some of Australia’s consumer health groups have also taken the side of the private hospitals, claiming a nonpayment of errors will ‘disadvantage patients’.

Aren’t they disadvantaged enough from hospital acquired infections, botched surgeries and medication mix ups? And what about the poor tax payer, left footing the 5 billion a year bill for private insurence tax rebates?

‘The PHI (Private Health Insurance) companies like MBP are really powerless to control both the quality and cost of healthcare.’

John Menadue – The unfairness and waste in health. Private Health Insurance is the real culprit.

Hospital errors are a major cause of dealt in western countries.

Peter Pronovost, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine in the US, says healthcare errors are claiming about 400,000 American lives every year – the equivalent of two jumbo jets crashing every day.

Healthcare is possibly the wealthiest industry in the western world. One is six dollars in the USA economy flows through healthcare. It is the largest employer in Australia and many other western nations. It is also the most error prone, the least computerized, the most secretive and least customer service orientated industry.

Hospital reform is being steadfastly resisted by the powerful groups who profit the most from this sector. Well paid private specialists and wealthy private hospital networks appearing to be expecting to make profits with non of the normal commercial responsibilities.

‘Healthcare errors are claiming about 400,000 American lives every year’.
Peter Pronovost, director of the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine (United States America).

The disputes over claiming payment ‘paying for errors’ goes across a number of large, wealthy private hospital networks in Australia.

People who run non-medical businesses expect to compete for customers, face competition and shoulder the burden for faulty goods and services.

So why should private hospitals and private Doctors be treated any differently?

NIB, a long-time rebel among Australia’s conservative private health insurers, has invested years to set up and manage their rating site WhiteCoat despite lobbying from the medical profession.

Private hospitals and medical specialists in Western countries should take notice of the booming industry of medical tourism. Singapore is only eight hours away. Overseas treatments can offers lower costs, great transparency and no unexpected out of pocket costs.

The world of wealthy elites and political connections is giving way to a global economy where consumer compare goods and shop on-line.

© Wikihospitals September 2015.