St Vincent’s flags end of agreement with nib

St Vincent’s, Australia’s largest not-for-profit health and aged care services provider, has given notice to the private health fund, nib, that it will walk away from their contract within the next 65 business days unless a new fairer funding agreement is reached. 

St Vincent’s – which operates 10 private hospitals in NSW, Victoria and Queensland – has asked nib for a fair funding agreement that recognises the rising costs of providing private hospital care. 

But nib has not put a fair offer on the table and has closed the door on any reasonable proposal from St Vincent’s. 

Unless a new funding agreement is reached within the notice period, St Vincent’s will end its contract with nib in early October (final day of notice period - Thursday, 3 October). 

This means that, after this date – unless an agreement is reached in the meantime – patients who use nib for their private health insurance may be required to contribute more to the cost of their care when using a St Vincent’s private hospital.

St Vincent’s CEO, Chris Blake, said nib’s approach to negotiations had left the organisation with no choice but to end their agreement. 

“There is a crisis in private healthcare in Australia,” said Chris. 

“Over the last five years, more than 70 private hospital services have closed. We’ve now got a major federal government review into the survival of the sector. 

“For private health care to operate effectively, health funds and hospitals need to work together, and on an even playing field, for the benefit of our members and patients. That’s certainly the St Vincent’s commitment.

“In the last 12 months, St Vincent’s has negotiated major new agreements with Medibank, HCF, and the Alliance group of health funds. As with all negotiations, while they were robust, both sides gave ground in order to achieve a fair result. 

“But nib has given us no choice but to make this call. 

“Exiting our agreement with nib is not the outcome St Vincent’s wants. St Vincent’s has done its utmost to reach a fair funding deal.

“This is not a decision we take lightly. This is the first time in our 167-year history that St Vincent’s has given notice to a private health fund that we intend to end our agreement. It’s an indication of how seriously we treat this matter.

“Just as inflation has driven up the cost of living for individuals and households, it has dramatically increased the costs of providing hospital care. These rising costs include things like: wages, food, energy, personal protective equipment (PPE), IT, and maintenance. 

“For example, in 2023, St Vincent’s electricity costs were $6.5 million. In 2024, we expect them to end up closer to $12 million – almost double.

“We want to work with nib – as we do with all the other funds – to keep patient premiums affordable while providing quality services with excellent outcomes. 

“But nib can’t isolate itself from the rising costs that are affecting the entire private health sector. It must shoulder its fair share.

“As a not-for-profit social enterprise, St Vincent’s needs to be able to cover its basic costs when we provide care to nib members in our hospitals.

“We still hope that nib sees sense and comes to the table during the notice period and puts a fair and constructive proposal forward.

“But for the sustainability of our organisation – and to provide certainty for our people and patients in an incredibly difficult operating environment – we have no choice to plan for a future where they don’t,” said Chris.

Media contact: Paul Andrews 0409 665 495

For more information visit:

List of St Vincent’s private hospitals:

  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Sydney
  • The Mater Sydney
  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Fitzroy
  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital East Melbourne
  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Kew
  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Werribee
  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Brisbane
  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside (north Brisbane)
  • St Vincent’s Private Hospital Toowoomba
  • St Vincent’s Private Community Hospital Griffith

Better and fairer care. Always.

In a rapidly transforming world, St Vincent's has created a refreshed vision and strategy to help shape Australia's health and aged care future.