Media releases

November 28, 2005

Uniting Healthcare Group agreement gives

Medibank Private, Australia's largest health insurer, and Uniting HealthCare Group in Queensland, including five hospitals, have secured a two year agreement. The agreement will see St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital and The Wesley Hospital in Brisbane, together with The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital, St Stephens Private Hospital in Maryborough and The Wesley Private Hospital in Townsville continue as part of the Medibank Private Members' Choice network.

Medibank Private Managing Director, George Savvides, said Members' Choice status meant hospital costs incurred by a Medibank Private member attending a Uniting Healthcare hospital would, subject to the terms of their cover, be completely covered by Medibank Private.

"What this means for any Medibank Private member attending a Uniting Healthcare hospital, is no surprises on the hospital costs at the end of your stay: no unexpected gaps for your hospital accommodation,"

"With more than 16,430 Medibank Private members attending Uniting Healthcare hospitals last year we believe this is an incredibly important agreement." he said.

St Andrew's War Memorial Hospital and The Wesley Hospital in Brisbane, in particular, are among 99 hospitals across metropolitan Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, the Gold Coast and Brisbane successfully to conclude a competitive tender process to become part of the Medibank Private Member's Choice network.

"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 the Uniting Healthcare Group is not just based on best cost," said Mr Savvides.

"Our negotiations are also about enshrining quality and safety standards, including those of the Australian Council for Safety and Quality in Healthcare and the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards, and ensuring Medibank Private members continue to enjoy widespread access to private hospitals around the country.

Uniting HealthCare Group, Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Richard Royle said, "It is extremely pleasing that we have been able to agree contract terms under which Uniting Healthcare Hospitals will continue to provide "no gap" services to Medibank Private members with an appropriate level of cover.

"As one of the major providers of private hospital services in Queensland, we have been able to ensure that Medibank Private members will not only receive the highest quality of care but will also experience certainty of hospital costs in advance of any hospital admission.

"Over the term of the agreement, the parties will further discuss the complex issues facing the health industry to ensure the continued provision of an efficient and quality focused service," Mr Royle said.

Mr Savvides concluded, "In the end, we know we've got a fair deal for our members, for Medibank Private and for the Uniting Healthcare Group."


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

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