Friday 17th June 2016 - 5:02 pm

Medibank Private sale worries Labor

by Alan Thornhill

Labor says it is “deeply concerned” by allegations that Medibank Private deliberately deceived its members to get a better price, when it was privatised.


The Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King, said: “While the allegations will be tested in court, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accused Medibank of “engaging in misleading conduct, making false or misleading representations and engaging in unconscionable conduct” by failing to tell Medibank members about a decision to limit benefits paid to members for in-hospital pathology and radiology services.”


She aslo said: “Labor is particular concerned at the ACCC’s allegation that Medibank Private kept consumers in the dark about the change in order to maximise its sale price.



“If proved, this would mean Medibank members were penalised at the benefit of the Federal Government, with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann publicly stating that the sale raised almost $5.7 billion.
Ms King said:”today’s events come only months after the newly-privatised Medibank reported a massive increase in profit for the first half of the 2015-16 financial year of $271.7 million, up $100 million or almost 60 per cent in just one year.
She said: “the Abbott- Turnbull Government consistently failed to make the case for the sale of Medibank, and today’s ACCC action indicates the privatisation has provided no benefit to either the health system or health insurance policyholders.
And she added: “…today is just another stark reminder of the danger to patients if the Turnbull Government is re-elected and continues to press ahead with its plans to privatise Medicare, putting profits before patients across the entire health system.
“Only a Shorten Labor Government can be trusted to protect Medicare. “ Ms King said.

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Alan Thornhill

Alan Thornhill is a parliamentary press gallery journalist.
Private Briefing is updated daily with Australian personal finance news, analysis, and commentary.

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