TOP News

Health: Bupa patients worried Ramsay Health Care hospital dispute will leave them out-of-pocket

Tennessee woman has abortion canceled despite being at risk of DEATH

  Tennessee woman has abortion canceled despite being at risk of DEATH Madison Underwood, 22, was nearly 19 weeks pregnant when her abortion was canceled, three days after the U.S. Supreme Court had overturned Roe v. Wade.Madison Underwood, 22, and her fiancé, Adam Queen, 24, had been told two weeks before that their baby had a rare defect and would not survive outside the womb. If Underwood tried to carry the baby to term, she could become critically ill or die.

Ramsay Health Care operates 72 hospitals, including Gold Coast's John Flynn Private Hospital. (ABC Gold Coast: Steve Keen) © Provided by ABC Health Ramsay Health Care operates 72 hospitals, including Gold Coast's John Flynn Private Hospital. (ABC Gold Coast: Steve Keen)

A funding dispute between one of Australia's largest private hospital operators and a major insurer could result in millions of people being out of pocket if they need treatment.

A contract between insurance giant Bupa and Ramsay Health Care, which operates 72 hospitals and day surgeries across Australia, expired on Tuesday after months of negotiations failed to secure an agreement.

The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman has offered to mediate between the parties.

The emergency services and the 15th in great difficulty, according to Samu-Urgences France

 The emergency services and the 15th in great difficulty, according to Samu-Urgences France © Arnaud Le Vu / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP The president of the Samu-Urgences France association (Sudf), successor to the new Minister of Health François Braun at the head of this organization, alerted Thursday that emergency services, mobile emergency and resuscitation services (SMUR) and the 15th were "in great difficulty of operating".

It has left Bupa customers, including Sue Burrin from the NSW far north coast, angry and confused.

"It has really thrown me," she said.

"You would think in this day and age you could come up with an agreement and it obviously hasn't happened."

The Banora Point resident recently had surgery for breast cancer and was receiving follow up radiation treatment across the Queensland border at Ramsay Health Care's John Flynn Hospital on the Gold Coast.

"If I need a follow up with my doctor or at John Flynn, I'm in a quandary as I can't use that hospital," Ms Burrin said.

"I have to go public at Tweed Hospital and that's booked up to the never never."

Ms Burrin said she was working out whether or not she could transfer to another health insurance fund.

Can Brain Fingerprinting Help Predict Future Mental Health Issues?

  Can Brain Fingerprinting Help Predict Future Mental Health Issues? Despite the best efforts of clinicians and researchers for decades, we still do not fully know why some people develop mental disorders and others do not. However, changes in the brain are very likely our best clues to future mental health outcomes. The adolescent brain is particularly important in this pursuit as changes during this period are rapid and dynamic, sculpting our individual uniqueness. Furthermore, most mental disorders emerge during adolescence, with more than half occurring by 14 years of age, and three quarters by age 25.

She said it was an added complication to being part-way through treatment of a major disease.

"I have to go through the process of saying to them 'I have actually got breast cancer'," she said.

She was concerned about paying more money and having to go through another waiting period.

"It's not a good situation to be in," she said.

Hospital boss says costs rising

John Flynn Private Hospital chief executive Adam Stevenson said there would be a two month transition period before Bupa patients were charged more.

He said Bupa members would begin charged out of pocket at Ramsay hospitals if no agreement was reached before the end of 60 days."There will be no impact for 60 days on patients, but after that if there is no agreement, after that patients will begin to be charged out of pocket if they are Bupa members and needing care at our hospitals."

Pindara Private Hospital chief executive Mark Page, whose facility is also owned by Ramsay, said the costs of masks, protective equipment and nurses' wages were increasing.

Clue to children’s COVID immune response

  Clue to children’s COVID immune response Queensland researcher Dr Kirsty Short says the lining of children's noses have a more pro-inflammatory response to the ancestral SARS-CoV-2 than adults' noses.Dr Kirsty Short from the school of chemistry and molecular biosciences at the University of Queensland says it may be one reason immune responses among children have proved more effective against the virus.

"Costs have gone up significantly for hospitals over the last two-and-a-half years and now everyone is feeling and seeing the inflation impacts on all of us," he said.

Mr Page said Ramsay Health Care had about 130,000 people admitted across its six hospitals from Southport to Ballina in the year to June 30.

He said 40,000 of them went to emergency departments at Pindara and John Flynn hospitals.

He said he hoped to see a resolution with Bupa quickly.

"All this is doing by not being able to reach an agreement … it just creates worry and distress for patients," he said.

Patients 'worried about their future'

Gold Coast obstetrician Andrew Cary said more people were seeking private health care during the pandemic.

"It has been very busy," Dr Cary said.

"A lot of the routine and elective work that hasn't been able to be done in the public hospitals has come across into the private health sector.

"A number of my patients are worried and are looking forward … a year ahead or nine months ahead, so they're … worried about the future."

Bupa Health Insurance managing director Chris Carroll said in a statement he hoped an agreement would be reached soon.

"We want to move beyond this impasse," the statement reads.

"We want our members to know that our first priority in our negotiations with Ramsay has been to keep health care costs affordable especially when cost of living pressures continue to impact families."

Video: Voluntary assisted dying should be treated as a 'serious issue' (Sky News Australia)

Too Few Psychiatric Beds: Psychiatrists' Group Takes Aim at Ongoing Crisis .
WEDNESDAY, Aug. 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Amid a stark shortage of psychiatric beds that only worsened for millions suffering from mental illnesses during the pandemic, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is rolling out a new model that can help communities determine exactly how many beds they need. Having enough in-patient beds would cut down on overcrowding in emergency departments and early release from needed care, the APA added. "It's not a secret that we have a dire need for psychiatric in-patient beds in this country, but there hasn't been a good way to assess these needs," said APA CEO and Medical Director Dr. Saul Levin.

See also