Friday, 20 June 2014

NSW North Coast Federal National Party MPs Kevin Hogan, Luke Hartsuyker, Barnaby Joyce and David Gillespie are supporting replacement of 61 not-for-profit Medicare Locals with commercial insurance companies?

The Abbott Government’s intention to freeze low-income earners out of access to quality medical care is foreshadowed in this article in The Sydney Morning Herald on  17 June 2014:

Lucrative contracts could be on offer to the country's two largest health insurers with the government considering outsourcing the Primary Health Networks program that will replace Labor's Medicare Local.
Medibank Private and Bupa, which collectively control about 60 per cent of the health insurance market, have both said they would consider tendering for the work.
A spokesman for Health Minister Peter Dutton confirmed the running of PHNs could be outsourced to the private sector "subject to an open tender process to identify the most suitable entities" but would not comment further. "We are not preempting that process," the spokesman said.
Labor set up 61 Medicare Locals - government funded non-profit organisations - to plan and co-ordinate services between general practitioners, allied health and hospitals around the country. The initiative was set to cost $1.8 billion over five years and employs 3000 people. The Coalition proposed a smaller number of PHNs aligned with state-run local hospital networks, which will perform a similar function. The cost of the initiative will be met from existing resources, the government said in the May budget…..

No comments: