Media releases

August 15, 2003

Medibank Private ends interim contract with Maitland Private Hospital

Medibank Private has notified the Maitland Private Hospital that it will end an interim contract it has with the hospital from 11 September, following a formal 30 day notice period.

Medibank Private's Chief Operating Officer, Simon Blair, said the continued lack of obstetric services offered at Maitland Private Hospital, despite prior indications from Hospital management that these would be made available, was the major reason for the conclusion of the agreement.

"It has been Medibank Private's expectation that obstetric services would become available at Maitland Private Hospital at some point following its opening in mid-2001," Mr Blair said. Medibank Private has been supportive of the Hospital since its commissioning, with the expectation that it would use this time to create the first private obstetrics service in the local area.

"However the latest confirmation by the private hospital is that obstetric services cannot be provided in the foreseeable future, and we have therefore decided to end our agreement on this basis," he said.

Mr Blair said while the conclusion of the contract with Maitland Private Hospital was regrettable, a high level of access to alternative private hospitals in the region existed for the company's Hunter-based members. As a result, Medibank Private members will be only marginally affected by the Fund's decision.

Medibank Private members can still attend the Maitland Private Hospital, however, they may face potentially increased out-of-pocket expenses.

Medibank Private members can continue to access a number of other private hospitals within the Newcastle and Lower Hunter region. This includes the Toronto Private Hospital, which is co-owned by the operators of Maitland Private Hospital. Members accessing these facilities will not face the potentially increased out-of-pocket expenses that may occur after 11 September at the Maitland Private Hospital.

Medibank Private members comprise approximately 11% of existing admissions to the Maitland Private Hospital.

Mr Blair said arrangements are being discussed for managing pre-booked Medibank Private members at Maitland Private Hospital on or after 11 September. Members with specific queries should call Medibank Private's toll-free inquiry number, 132 331.

Jim Cooper, Media Relations Manager, 03-8605 2406 or 0409 913 827.

Back to top