- On August 23, 2019
Framing public hospitals as profit-seeking and predatory is just a way of deflecting blame when the real problem is complicated and difficult to solve, says AMA (NSW) Vice President, Dr Danielle McMullen.
“It’s no secret that people can use their private health cover in public hospitals in NSW.
“In fact, the private health insurers sell policies that are pretty much limited to solely working in public hospitals.
“This is all part of a problem, including the insufficient funding provided to public hospitals, that is seriously in need of urgent reform,” Dr McMullen said.
“Accusing the public hospitals of being greedy, when years of failure between State and Federal Governments to agree to suitable funding, obscures the real issues.
“Public hospitals aren’t run for profit and they struggle with the record-breaking patient numbers they see every year.
“Avarice is not a factor here, it’s a question of can these hospitals continue to provide the services the public needs?
“This is a complex problem and everything from public hospital funding, primary care funding, and rules governing private health cover needs to be looked at to solve it,” Dr McMullen said.
“In saying this all of this, for the moment, it remains important that when patients do choose to use their private cover in a public hospital, it is done as a result of informed financial consent.
“This is easy to say but private health insurance is a very complex thing, so it’s very important that patients have clear information on what the result of choosing to use their private cover is,” Dr McMullen said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones 0419 402 955