Government cuts on health services funding caused Primary Health Care (PHC) to lose $35 million in revenue last year, Australia's largest private medical services group reported on Tuesday.
Operating earnings of $331 million announced on Tuesday fell short of the $330 to $340 million profit forecast given in May.
Minus tax, PHC netted $132 million in 2009, 13 percent higher than the 2008 after-tax profit but lower than the $144.8 million target for last year.
PHC Managing Director Ed Bateman specifically pointed to cuts in funding for general practitioner visits and pathology services as factors that affected earnings. The cuts lowered demand for GP services as patients tried to save in the face of higher medical cost.
An ABS survey in July showed one in 15 adults over the age of 15 years had not gone to a doctor in the last 12 months because of the costs. Affordability is denying them access, Theaustralian.com quoted Bateman as saying.