Media releases

May 10, 2013

Mums rate Australia's best private maternity care

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

The Medibank Maternity Experience Index evaluated the experiences of over 1,500 patients who have 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 company's annual Hospital Experience Survey, Medibank Group Executive of Provider Networks & Integrated Care, Dr Andrew Wilson, says the overall performance of private hospitals as rated by members is very positive.

"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 here at Medibank to talk to our members and take on board their views regarding their chosen hospital. The feedback we can then provide hospitals is invaluable in improving processes and member experiences."

Dr Wilson continues, "We are very pleased to announce that the highest ranked maternity hospital in Australia, as rated by Medibank members, was The Bays Hospital in Victoria, followed by Cabrini Hospital in Victoria and The Sunshine Coast Private Hospital in Queensland.

"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 four years since we began the Maternity Experience Survey."

The rating of metropolitan and regional hospitals was almost even, with rural private hospitals obtaining an average score of 79 against metropolitans' 78.

"The results were also full of good news for maternity care in general, with an average improvement across all hospitals on the previous survey. 64% of hospitals received a higher score than last year which is great for patients and endorses our Index as a feedback mechanism that is constructive and leads to positive change.

"Over 20,000 babies are born in the Medibank system each year so small improvements can result in a significantly enhanced patient experience for a large number of people."

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 most recent study surveyed over 17,322 private patients from 140 private hospitals, and is the fifth Index to have been completed. To date, over 105,300 patients have taken part in the survey, providing Medibank with valuable feedback and trend data year on year.

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