Media releases

January 23, 2013

Australia's top regional and rural private hospitals named

Tamara Private Hospital in regional New South Wales has been rated as the best private hospital in Australia, according to the nation's most comprehensive survey of patient satisfaction conducted by leading health fund Medibank Private.

The North Tamworth hospital also took the title of best private hospital for Regional and Rural Australia as well as for New South Wales. The Silver Regional and Rural Award was taken by Mater Misericordiae Hospital Gladstone in Queensland, whilst Shepparton Private Hospital in Victoria came third.

Medibank Group Executive, Provider Relations, Cindy Shay, said the results demonstrate the strength of health services delivered across regional Australia.

"To have a private hospital in Tamworth winning the national award makes an important statement about the delivery of healthcare in regional Australia. The performance of regional and rural hospitals in this survey shows that Australia's regional residents have access to some outstanding facilities and services.

Australia's Regional and Rural private hospitals that took part in the survey also outperformed their city counterparts in a number of areas.

"It may not be a surprise to those who live and work in regional Australia but it is worth noting that rural private hospitals outperformed metropolitan counterparts in key areas such as hospital staff ratings and the communications index."

Medibank Private's Hospital Experience Survey analysed 17,322 responses covering 140 private hospitals in the largest and most authoritative survey of its type in Australia. The Survey covers every stage of the hospital experience, from pre-admission to discharge and follow-up, with respondents sharing their thoughts on everything from the standard of medical treatment provided to privacy levels, cleanliness and food quality.

"The Survey results indicate that, overall, Australians are very satisfied with the standard of care provided in the private health system. This is important because people who take out private health insurance want to know they'll have access to services that suit their individual needs. This Survey shows private hospitals, and particularly regional and rural private hospitals are delivering this.

"In addition to the national, regional and rural, and state rankings, we have prepared detailed reports for each of our provider hospitals showing the areas where patients said they were doing well and areas where improvements could be made." Ms Shay said.

Across the whole Survey, responses showed high levels of satisfaction with the standard of communication from hospital staff, an important aspect when many people are going through a challenging experience which may not be familiar to them. However, discharge and follow up was voted the least satisfactory index in the Survey, indicating that the patient experience continues after leaving hospital, and appropriate focus need to be given to this.

Regional and rural hospitals revealed similar results, with communications rated as the highest index whilst discharge and follow up was highlighted as an area for improvement.

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