Sunday, July 21, 2024

Bupa members warned as Ramsay hospitals contract ends

Bupa health insurance members on the Gold Coast are being urged to review their health cover if they want to avoid additional out-of-pocket costs at a number of local private hospitals in the near future.

Ramsay Health Care, which operates numerous facilities on the Gold Coast and Northern New South Wales – including six hospitals and day surgeries and two psychology practices, is due to go out of contract with Bupa next Tuesday, August 2nd.  

Pindara Private Hospital CEO, Mark Page said this would potentially impact tens of thousands of Gold Coast locals. 

“Hospitals have faced enormous challenges through Covid protecting our patients and staff, providing appropriate PPE, increasing our cleaning, and ensuring additional infection prevention training for our staff and doctors,” Mr Page said. 

“This increase in vigilance and ensuring patient safety comes at a significant cost. In negotiations around rate increases, health funds must acknowledge the increasing wage and supply costs required to ensure ongoing quality patient care in our hospitals.

“Unfortunately, terms that acknowledge those costs increases have not been reached with Bupa in our negotiations to date.

“We are concerned that reaching an agreement with Bupa is unlikely before next week’s deadline, meaning Bupa patients accessing Ramsay sites, including Pindara Private Hospital, John Flynn Private Hospital and The Southport Private Hospital, in the future may be required to pay the shortfall between Bupa’s benefits and the treatment costs, as an additional out-of-pocket expense

“We want local Bupa members to be informed about the situation now, so they have time to review their health cover and work out what is best for them.”

By law, consumers changing funds won’t have to re-serve the waiting periods for hospital benefits again if retaining the same level of hospital cover.

More information is available in the Ombudsman’s Right to Change brochure: bit.ly/RightToChange2022

Ramsay Health Care says it’s goal has been to reach a fair and sustainable agreement with Bupa that removes the need for additional out-of-pocket costs to be passed on to patients. 

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