Gold standard healthcare must be available to all Australians, not just the insured

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

All Australians should have access to gold standard healthcare, not just those who can afford private health insurance, says Alison Verhoeven, Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association (AHHA) Chief Executive.

“Today’s Labor Party health policy announcement would ensure more adequate funding for Australia’s public hospitals, restoring targets to drive quality and efficiency in care, agreed on a collaborative basis by the Commonwealth and the states.

“This is a positive way forward in ensuring that public hospitals can deliver the services that all Australians rely on, particularly for those who are unable to afford private health services or for those faced with medical emergencies or with serious illnesses requiring highly complex care.

“The AHHA also welcomes the strengthened proposals for patient-centred medical homes announced by the Labor Party. This innovative approach to primary care, announced initially by Minister Ley in April 2016, requires adequate financial commitment. The Labor Party proposal puts more money on the table to make these trials viable – and provides a clearer role for Primary Health Networks, Aboriginal Controlled Community Health Organisations, and allied health providers than anticipated in the original design.

“A stronger primary health system is critical to better health outcomes and greater sustainability across the health sector,” says Ms Verhoeven.

“In regard to today’s announcements on private health insurance, the AHHA notes that health insurance is heavily subsidised by the Commonwealth, and plays a very important role in the funding of health care in Australia. Improving the quality of health insurance products, by ensuring greater transparency in policy information for consumers and by assisting choice through ranking systems such as the gold-silver-bronze standards proposed by the Coalition parties today, is a welcome measure.

“We welcome also the Coalition proposal for policies which might better suit the needs of consumers in regional and rural areas.

“The AHHA strongly endorses the Labor Party proposal to end subsidisation of policies which provide cover for non-evidence based natural therapies.  With finite health dollars, subsidies must be well-targeted."

Media enquiries:
Alison Verhoeven
Chief Executive, The Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association
0403 282 501