2016 Federal Budget: PHSC a step toward meaningful reform

Australian Private Hospitals Association Chief Executive Michael Roff has praised the Government for establishing an expert group to provide advice on its approach to private health insurance reform.

The Government used Tuesday’s Federal Budget to announce the Private Health Sector Committee (PHSC), along with a number of other key committees.

The PHSC will provide technical and specialist advice on designing and implementing reforms to improve the value of private health insurance to consumers.

It will be chaired by an eminent person and made up of 12 members with expertise in private hospitals and consumer issues, according to Budget papers.

Mr Roff said the announcement was a step in the right direction to achieving substantive and meaningful reform.

“We welcome the broad sector approach to private health insurance reform,” Mr Roff said.

“While we await the Government’s response to the review of private health insurance, the new Private Health Sector Committee indicates a range of views and advice will be involved, which we believe will result in a good outcome for consumers.”

Mr Roff said including industry specialists and consumer experts would lead to reforms being developed through consensus. He said this would lead to better outcomes for Australians.

“We are aware there is a great deal of confusion about private health insurance and what care different policies entitle Australians to access,” he said.

“We know Australians want to see better value from their health insurance and reforming the system should ensure this occurs.”

More than 55 per cent of Australians are covered by some form of private cover and Mr Roff said holders needed to be able to access the best possible care if they chose to use the private system.

“We have proposed a range of measures to improve the value of health insurance and we look forward to working with the Government to put these in place,” he said.

“We are hopeful this work will not be delayed by the impending Federal Election so momentum on this issue is not lost.”

Mr Roff also welcomed the announcement of the Prostheses List Advisory Committee, saying it would build on the good work already undertaken by the Prostheses Working Group.

“The Government is taking the right approach,” Mr Roff said.

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