Media releases

October 18, 2005

Ramsay Health Care and Medibank Private join forces

Medibank Private, Australia's largest health insurer, and Ramsay Health Care, Australia's largest private hospital group, have secured a two year agreement that will provide Medibank Private members with access to the nation's largest hospital network.

Medibank Private Managing Director, George Savvides, said the agreement was a major milestone in the Fund's hospital tender process and a significant factor in ensuring that Medibank Private can offer its nearly three million members improved value for their private health insurance cover.

Ramsay Health Care, which delivers services across a network of 72 private hospitals, 36 of which were acquired from Affinity earlier this year, reached agreement with Medibank Private after successfully participating in a competitive tender process involving hospitals across metropolitan Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast and Brisbane.

"Our hospital tender process aims to address our biggest cost - what hospitals charge us to treat our members. In the last financial year we paid $2.3 billion in benefits - 75 per cent, or $1.7 billion, of this went straight to private hospital care on behalf of members," Mr Savvides said.

"By addressing these costs through a competitive, market-based process we have secured outcomes which will deliver a fairer deal for our members as it will allow us to take some of the pressure off future premium increases.

"An agreement with Ramsay Health Care reinforces the success of our tender process in ensuring a fairer deal for our members whilst maintaining access to the quality care they expect," Mr Savvides said.

"With more than 87,000 Medibank Private members attending Ramsay Health Care hospitals last year, we believe this is an important agreement for both Medibank Private and Ramsay Healthcare." he said.

Mr Savvides went on to say, "While our drive is to get the best possible care at the best possible price, and give members the best value for their premiums, I have to stress the agreement we've reached with Ramsay Health Care is not just based on price.

"The tender program is also about enshrining quality and safety benchmarks supported by the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Healthcare and the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, as well as ensuring Medibank Private members continue to enjoy widespread access to private hospitals around the country.

"Ramsay Health Care not only leads the industry in size and range of services, but the quality of care they provide our members is excellent."

Ramsay Health Care, Managing Director, Pat Grier said, "I am pleased that we have been able to negotiate a two year agreement with Medibank Private. This process has been rigorous, but handled professionally by all involved. A two year agreement between the largest health fund and the largest private hospital operator can only be good news for the health sector".

"In the end, we know we've got a fair deal for our members, for Medibank Private and for Ramsay Health Care," Mr Savvides concluded.


For more information contact:
Libby Woolnough, Media Relations Adviser,
Medibank Private PH: 03) 8622 5181 / 0411 659 060

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