Health care costs are rising faster than ever in Australia, with the average cost for a private health care visit rising by more than a third between 2013 and 2015.
The research, published in the medical journal BMC Medicine, shows the average increase in the average price of a private visit for a patient with a medical condition has risen from $3,935 to $5,200 in the past decade.
Health minister Dr Russell Hobby said it was a good sign that more people were getting good quality health care in the private sector.
“We’re seeing that a lot of people are now accessing health care for themselves and their families,” Dr Hobby said.
“But we also know that we have to make sure we’re getting the right services for the right people.”
The research is a joint effort between the University of Adelaide and the Australian National University (ANU).
Dr Hobby’s department, the Centre for Health Research and Education at the University, is also involved.
The ANU is working with the University to build a database of private health services across Australia, which will enable more accurate data on the costs of private healthcare services.
The Australian Health and Medical Research Council is also working with Healthcare Australia to collect data on private health costs.
The study also found that private health visits increased by more in the two years before the ACA was implemented.
Dr Hobby acknowledged the rise in private health visit prices had not been fully accounted for.
“The real story is that the average [cost] per visit has gone up by $2,000,” Dr Hobson said.
The researchers estimated that about 20 per cent of Australian people could be affected by the increase in private visits.
“That’s a significant amount of people that don’t get the health services that they need,” Dr Hanson said.
In an interview with Business Insider, Dr Hanson suggested it was important for governments to consider how private health spending would change with the introduction of the ACA.
“When you’re talking about the health system, it’s very, very hard to predict the future,” she said.