Doctors who oppose private health insurance legislation that demands they sign contracts with health funds before their patients are 100% covered are outraged that overseas visitors are being offered 100% hospital and 100% medical cover with the doctor and hospital of their choice WHILE AUSTRALIANS CAN’T GET THE SAME DEAL.
This product called ‘the overseas visitors cover’ is currently being offered by Medibank Private, (the Government’s own private health insurance fund) at $136.70 a single and $273.40 a family per month bringing the total cost of family cover to $3,280 per year. About the same total cost that a family on $60,000 per annum pay in Medicare levy and top private cover. WE WANT THE SAME DEAL FOR AUSTRALIAN PATIENTS THAT IS CURRENTLY GIVEN TO OVERSEAS VISITORS.
For over two years the medical profession has been calling on the Government to repeal the Carmen Lawrence legislation which demands an expensive and unworkable system of hundreds of thousands of individual contracts between hospitals, doctors and health insurers before a patient can obtain 100% hospital and medical cover.
Now we find that this cover can be given and is being given to overseas visitors, but not Australians, without all the hassles and dangers that the Lawrence Legislation contracting rules create. Spokesman for the Australian Doctors’ Fund, Mr Stephen Milgate, said “the Australian Doctors’ Fund believes that Australians who want 100% no gap cover should be able to obtain it and still maintain their choice of doctor and hospital. In particular, they should be secure in the knowledge that their doctor of choice is providing independent medical advice. This is available to overseas visitors but not Australian citizens”.
Mr Milgate said, “it’s obvious that this product can be offered without the need for the American system of Managed Care contracts which doctors believe will lead to detrimental interference in the doctor/patient relationship which has been the case in the United States”.
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24 October 1996