Minister for Health Peter Dutton has once again proved he has no concern for Australian health consumers, approving one of the largest increases to private health insurance premiums in the past decade just two days before Christmas.
“This is Peter Dutton’s Christmas present for Australian families – much higher health insurance premiums," Ms King said.
“The decision to approve such an increase is consistent with the disregard Mr Dutton has shown for health services Australians rely on.
“This also raises serious questions about what the privatisation of Medibank will mean for premium increases in the future.
"This is an absolute slap in the face for Australian health consumers just two days before Christmas.”
Each year Australia’s private health insurers are required to submit applications to the Private Health Insurance Administration Council for their annual fee structure. It is then a decision for the minister as to what increase is approved.
In government, Labor had a position of ensuring the lowest possible increase in fees was introduced. Under Ministers Roxon and Plibersek the annual increase was consistently around 5.5% or less.
Mr Dutton has continually promised that selling Medibank Private will result in increased competition and in turn more competition, despite the AMA and opposition raising serious concerns to the contrary.
"Making this announcement two days before Christmas is highly cynical and something the government should be ashamed of," Ms King said.
"It is proof once again that this is not the government that Mr Abbott promised the Australian people they would be.”