Managing Director of Bupa Australia and New Zealand, Richard Bowden said there is an opportunity in this term of government to put in place practical and achievable reforms that will deliver a more sustainable, higher quality health and care system.
“We congratulate Minister Hunt on his appointment to the health portfolio and look forward to working with him to create an improved health system for all Australians,” Mr Bowden said.
“We believe in a strong public health system, supported by a strong private system – it’s a balance that has served our country well for decades.
“Today, however, our health system is facing new and complex challenges. Increasing financial pressure from an ageing population, new and more expensive medical treatments and technologies, increasing use of services and rising consumer expectations – all of this means higher costs for consumers, healthcare providers and governments.
“A sustainable health system must strike a balance between curbing expenditure growth while improving the quality of care available for everyone. Ultimately Australians need and want the right care at the right time by the right person.
“Amongst other things, we recommend a move away from fee-for-service models for clinicians to outcomes based payments to help reduce current over-servicing and churn.”
Mr Bowden also recommended that the Minister initiates a Productivity Commission review of the total private health system and how it interacts with the public system – to improve coordination of health and care services and reduce complexity, fragmentation and duplication.
“Work is underway to reduce waste and inefficiency in the health system, but more is required,” he said.
“While we welcomed the Government cutting prosthesis costs late last year, Australians are still unjustifiably paying the highest prices in the world for medical devices. We are asking the Minister for further price reductions, that will continue to be passed on to our customers.”
Mr Bowden also congratulated Ken Wyatt on his appointment as Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Indigenous Health.
“We look forward to working with Minister Wyatt to introduce more sustainable aged care funding, particularly for residents with complex care needs.”