MTAA backs call for a national summit on the future of private health

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The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) has backed a call from AMA president Dr Omar Khorshid for a national summit on the future of the private health sector.

“The Government has started some of this reform with the announced changes to the Prostheses List, however, we need to go much further than this. The AMA has led calls for reform to private health and we will continue to do so," said Dr Khorshid.

“When possible, and hopefully sooner rather than later, I intend to call a summit of all major players in the industry to lead this change.

“We will all need to work together on improvement, embrace innovation and change. The AMA and Australia’s doctors stand ready to talk constructively, ready to lead this change,” added Dr Khorshid.

“Private healthcare is a vital pillar of Australia’s health system, providing choice and access for patients and taking the pressure off the public hospital system,” said MTAA CEO Ian Burgess.

“The MTAA shares the AMA’s concern about the sustainability of the current system given the ageing of our population and the drift away from private healthcare by young people.

“We agree urgent action is required to ensure future generations can benefit from Australia’s balanced approach to health care.

“Since 2017, MTAA has been working to ensure spending on medical technology (MedTech) in the private system delivers the best possible value to consumers.

“Our agreement with government is on track to deliver over $1 billion in savings and we are currently working with doctors, hospitals and consumers to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Prostheses List.

“This guarantees that doctors can choose the best possible device for their patients without the risk of unexpected out-of-pocket costs."

“However, the Prostheses List represents only around 10% of all private health insurance payments, so we agree a broader approach to reform is needed," said Mr Burgess.

Medical device companies are currently engaged in a reform discussion over the future of the Prostheses List (PL). There is significant disagreement over the future of PL with device companies opposed to reforms proposed by the private health insurance sector.

Mr Burgess continued, “We support the AMA’s call for a Summit and stress the importance of involving consumers and community representatives so the needed reforms can be guided by their needs and priorities.

“The MTAA also supports the active involvement of manufacturers, experts and other medical technology stakeholders in this process.

“Technology and innovation will drive the next generation of healthcare and we need to work together on changes which provide all Australians with access to the latest evidence-based, innovative technologies.

“We look forward to working with the AMA and other health stakeholders on the proposed Summit to deliver robust and sustainable private healthcare sector for the future.”