Media releases

December 19, 2002

Medibank Private aims for market leadership in Tasmania with new retail approach

Australia’s largest and only national private health insurance fund, Medibank Private unveiled its plan to be the health insurance market leader in Tasmania with the opening of its new-look retail centre in Hobart.

Managing Director, George Savvides, who officially opens the new retail centre in Hobart on Thursday, 19 December 2002, said the new store concept offers customers enhanced service and access to Medibank Private’s products, services and health information.

“Customers told us in research we conducted, that they wanted a more consultative and private environment where they could discuss their health issues.

“The design we’ve chosen is cost-effective, modern, flexible and most importantly, now really meets our customers needs.”

Mr Savvides said the Hobart retail centre was only the second of the new concept stores to open in Australia.

“We opened the first store in Parramatta, Sydney in September. We regard Tasmania as an important market for Medibank Private, which made Hobart a logical choice as the location for our next store of this type.

“Medibank Private is the second largest private health fund in Tasmania, with 37% of the market. We’d obviously like to be market leader in Tasmania, and we hope, with our new retailing strategy, we can achieve number one status over time,” Mr Savvides said.

Medibank Private hopes to roll out 30 similar stores this financial year around the country.

The new Hobart retail centre in 115 Collins Street provides the following improved service features:

  • A layout that allows for more private interaction between the customer and Medibank Private staff;

  • A virtual queuing system that allows customers to use other in-store services so as to avoid waiting in line while holding their Medibank consultant appointment;
  • Direct, online access to the Medibank Private Internet site plus a hot phone that links directly to Medibank’s call centre; and
  • A new “Infopoint” health terminal, which gives customers access to information about a range of health topics and services using touch screen technology.
    Mr Savvides said the “Infopoint” health terminal complements Medibank Private’s current on-line health information services, which are provided as part of its alliance partnerships with the National Heart Foundation, National Asthma Council and the Cochrane Consumer Collaboration.
  • “There is a strong global trend for consumers to increase their participation in the management of their own health and wellness by accessing evidence-based, electronically distributed health information of this type,” Mr Savvides said.

    “We provide health insurance for almost three million Australians and while this will remain the core of our business, it is becoming increasingly important to emphasise the value of prevention.

    “We believe this new retail concept will allow us to better engage our customers and offer them an experience beyond merely transacting a claim.”

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