Media releases

December 10, 2009

Medibank contributes to healthcare reform discussion

As part of its commitment to thought leadership, Medibank recently sponsored Mary Foley, National Health Practice Leader for PwC Australia, to lead an independent review of a vision and practical roadmap for the Medicare Select model.

The ensuing paper, with contributions from Dr Christine Bennett and Professor Just Stoelwinder, considers how Medicare Select might be structured and operated, as well as outlining risks and key design decisions, practical pathways, and steps to link those proposed in the Healthy Australia Accord to Medicare Select.

Medibank's Managing Director, George Savvides, said that the fund supported further investigation of the Medicare Select model as proposed by the National Health and Hospital Reform Commission.

"One of the reasons we have looked at this is that we support certain principles which are key to health reform and an equitable and sustainable health system. These include competition, incentives for innovation, improved consumer choice, and sophisticated purchasing. Medicare Select may be best placed to deliver on these principles.

"It is also valuable to explore similar health models and frameworks overseas where consumers have been more satisfied with the health system and the annual rate of increase in health costs has been lower than what we experience in Australia," Mr Savvides said.

Essentially, Medicare Select, as explored in the paper, is a uniquely Australian model which builds on the current universal entitlements of Medicare to support a more integrated health system. Making Medicare Select Real is now available for download.

The NHHRC recommended this option after determining that Australia's health system was at a tipping point and required urgent and substantive reform. The Commission's Final Report recommends major restructuring of the governance and financing of the health system with the purpose of Medicare Select being to support an equitable, sustainable, universal health system for the long term. It would do this through managing cost escalation, integrating funding to better enable care of chronic disease, addressing fragmentation of the health system across jurisdictions and offering consumer choice.

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