One of Australia's largest private health providers has used its half-yearly report to criticise the federal government's decision to means test the private health insurance rebate.
Ramsay Health Care released its latest financial results yesterday (February 23) and despite the positive growth, managing director Christopher Rex believes the "disappointing" policy will eventually have an impact on the hospital operator.
"Ramsay is concerned that in the longer term, people affected by the legislation may choose to downgrade their cover which would have an adverse effect on the financial viability of the private health insurance industry and therefore it has the potential to impact the group in ensuing years," he said.
"In Australia, the private hospital sector remains integral to the country’s overall health system and indeed, given the emerging theme of public [and] private partnerships, the role of the private sector could grow even further."
Mr Rex also announced that the Ramsay board has already approved $55 million in capacity expansion and refurbishment projects – with most of those funds to be invested in its Brisbane hospital.