MTAA: Reform process already underway

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CEO of the Medical Technology Association of Australia Ian Burgess says the reform process initiated by health minister Greg Hunt is considering a range of issues including discounts and rebates paid by medical device companies to private hospitals.

"People seem to forget this is underway and that particular issue is being looked at right now in the context of the wider reform process," he told HealthDispatch.

"The process is in its early stages. There are working groups that have met a couple of times. They are providing a structured review process and we are happy with that to date.

"All options will be considered on future funding and benefit models, including tendering, which is obviously something we would oppose because of the implications for the value of private health insurance but it will be considered."

Mr Burgess spoke to HealthDispatch after a week during which reports emerged of medical device companies paying rebates to private hospitals.

"The recent reporting is counterproductive. It has been confused and no clear evidence provided. How does that benefit the reform process?

"There has also been significant misrepresentation on a number of issues, including the magnitude of rebates, which providers have publicly confirmed are in the range of 2-5 percent.

"We have engaged with the government and other stakeholders on the reform process and we will continue to do that. We have a strategic agreement that has delivered $1.1 billion in savings to insurers - it cannot be forgotten this $1.1 billion is the sole reason the government was able to announce the lowest private health insurance premium increase in 17 years."