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Roxon appeals for more private hospital data

10 November 2011 - 5:14pm

The federal government is prepared to do whatever it takes to make private hospital patient information available for its website, including changing the legislation.

The MyHospitals website was launched last month, and features performance data such as waiting times and infection rates for over 700 of Australia's public hospitals.

However, less than half of the country's private hospitals are present on the site.

Health minister Nicola Roxon has requested that more information be made available, with "openness" becoming the norm across the private sector.

"If there is resistance then I am prepared to consider regulatory options such as amendment to the private health insurance rules to require private hospitals to participate," Ms Roxon told a health insurance conference in Melbourne yesterday (November 9).

Determined to keep consumers informed about all forms of care - whether covered by private health insurance or not - Ms Roxon claimed that hospitals could miss out on payments from private funds if data was not provided to the new National Health Performance Authority.

Additional safety and quality indicators - including cancer services and surgery waiting times, hand hygiene compliance and unplanned readmission rates - are be added to the MyHospitals website next year.