Sector's 'relief' at the election outcome

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The private health insurance sector is 'relieved' following the re-election of the Coalition at Saturday's election, according to the head of Private Healthcare Australia, Dr Rachel David.

Speaking at yesterday's PharmaDispatch 2019 conference in Sydney, Dr David said the sector breathed a surprised but collective 'sigh of relief' now that is no longer faces the prospect of a number of reforms.

Labor had committed to a two per cent cap on premium increases for two years and the removal of the private health insurance rebate on basic level policies.

The removal of the rebate from these policies would have saved the government $115 million over four years.

Health minister Greg Hunt comfortably held his electorate of Flinders.

Dr David's comments were echoed by Ian Burgess, head of the Medical Technology Association of Australia, who acknowledged the cap on premium increases may have come at the expense of device companies.

Mr Burgess also said his association welcomed the continuation of its strategic agreements signed with the Coalition.

Investors also appeared to welcome the election outcome, with shares in publicly listed health insurers surging.

Share in nib rose almost 16 per cent on Monday while investors boosted the Medibank share price by almost 12 per cent. Shares in Ramsay Health rose over 7 per cent.

In an interview with Radio 2GB, Medibank CEO Craig Drummond said Labor's cap on premium increases would have been "challenging" but it at least served the purpose of focussing the sector in the need to address rising costs.

He said Medibank is in the process of reducing its cost base by $60 million.