Media releases

May 5, 2011

Mums rate Australia's best private maternity care

As thousands of new mums celebrate Mothers Day for the first time this Sunday and others eagerly await their bundles of joy, Medibank Private has released results of a national survey into maternity hospital experiences.

The Medibank Private Maternity Experience Index evaluated the experiences of over 2,000 patients who have recently given birth in private hospitals across Australia, allowing parents to rate hospital performance, environment, staff and support throughout the pregnancy, birth and early parenthood.

Conducted as part of the health insurer's annual Hospital Experience Survey this is the first year that the fund has released details specific to maternity services and Medibank Private Group General Manager, Provider Relations, Cindy Shay, says Medibank is very happy overall with the performance of private hospitals.

"Giving birth is an exciting yet challenging event for any family, and the overall experience can be heavily influenced by what happens at the hospital. It is important for us to talk to our members and to hear their views on their chosen hospital. The feedback we can then provide hospitals is invaluable in improving processes and member experiences.

"The survey shows that in general, maternity patients were more highly satisfied with their hospital experience than the broader patient group with members rating the Maternity Experience Index at 78 (out of 100). This is a positive reflection on the hospitals that have chosen to take part in the survey and who have worked hard to improve patient experiences over the past three years since we began the Hospital Experience Survey.

"We are very pleased to announce that the highest ranked maternity hospital in Australia, as rated by Medibank members, was The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital in Queensland, followed by Cabrini Hospital in Victoria, and John Flynn - Gold Coast Private Hospital in Queensland." Ms Shay said.

The rating of metropolitan and regional hospitals was even with both obtaining an average score of 77.

"The results were also full of good news for maternity care in general with an average improvement across all hospitals of 3 points on the previous survey. In fact, 58% of hospitals received a higher score than last year."

Over 20,000 babies are born in the Medibank system each year.

Surveyed topics in the Maternity Index range from pre-admission care such as antenatal classes and hospital familiarisation, to breastfeeding support and caring for newborn advice.

The Member Experience Index is the largest and most comprehensive study of private patient experiences in Australia. The survey gives a complete and accurate picture of the patients' perspective of the private health system. The 2009/10 study surveyed over 22,000 private patients from 142 private hospitals between October 2009 and September 2010, and is the fourth Index to have been completed. To date, over 90,000 patients have taken part in the survey, providing Medibank Private with valuable feedback and trend data year on year.

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