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  1. 1

    Mark Fitzgibbon

    Guys there’s a fairly simply solution.
    1. Allow private health insurers to cover doctor fee gaps outside of the hospital. Its an ideological anachronism that we can’t extend our Medigap agreement beyond hospitals. It causes not only excessive fees and out of pockets but a bias towards hospitalisation.
    2. Insurers use there bargaining and buying power to negotiate more reasonable and consistent additional Medigap fees with doctors. Although its a cost shift to insurers the healthcare system as a whole benefits.
    3. Members can then be given certainty about whether or not they will have an out of pocket. They could still see a doctor “out of network” if they chose but at least they know there will likely be a gap.
    4. We will complement the fee information and choice with qualitative data.

    Mark Fitzgibbon

    1. 1.1

      Lesley Russell

      Sadly, we’ve seen what PHI bargaining power can’t do with doctors’ surgical, anaesthesia fees. This proposal would completely destroy the universality of Medicare.
      We’ve suggested the French approach to public / private might work, but would require serious discussion, buy-in by all stakeholders, enforcement.

  2. 2

    tim woodruff

    The major strategy to address the problem appears to have been omitted. Why not stop charging copayments. The Fed Gov could start by winding back copayments it imposes for pharmaceuticals, copayments which prevent about 1 in 20 sick Australians from filling out prescriptions. Governments could then look at doctor imposed copayments by simply funding enough doctors in hospital outpatients to address the shocking waiting times to see specialists, and by funding more GPs to provide bulk billed services. Not complicated.
    Then we would be moving toa truly universal health care rather than the current state where we have universal access to an inadequate rebate and to public hospitals so long as one is prepared to wait for months and years to access the hospitals
    tim woodruff
    doctors reform society


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