AMA says private health care is unwell

RAPIDLY declining private health care needs a full check-up, says the Australian Medical Association.

In its submission to the Federal Government's private health insurance review, the AMA has called for greater policy transparency.

AMA president Brian Owler said too many people were discovering that their insurance did not cover many common procedures.

"The insurers must be more active in informing their policyholders when there are changes, especially exclusions," Professor Owler said.

"If consumers withdraw from private health insurance because it is a low-value product, or quality products are unaffordable, or risk rating means some people are uninsurable, there will be additional pressure on the public hospital sector, which is already struggling to meet demand."

He said deteriorating private health care resulted from the aggressive behaviour of the larger private health insurers that had gone unchecked by the government.