Sector welcomes new ministry and Hunt reappointment

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Stakeholder groups have welcomed the reappointment of health minister Greg Hunt.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison reappointed Mr Hunt with the added responsibility of Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Cabinet.

Mr Hunt welcomed his own reappointment saying he wants to work with the private health sector on further reforms to ensure lower private health insurance premium increases.

The average premium increase in 2018 was the lowest in 18 years.

Private Healthcare Australia’s chief executive Dr Rachel David said Mr Hunt's reappointment reflected the government's commitment to the maintenance of Australia's mixed public-private health system.

“The experience that Minster Hunt brings to the role will ensure the smooth ongoing implementation of reform measures to improve access and affordability to health care for consumers," said Dr David.

“Since Minister Hunt took on the role in January 2017, the health sector has developed and implemented a range of reforms which have delivered among many other significant achievements, the lowest average PHI premium increase in 18 years.

"Keeping private health insurance sustainable is crucial for Australia’s mixed public-private healthcare system as PHI reduces pressure on public hospitals," added Dr David.

The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) also congratulated Mr Hunt on his reappointment.

“We welcome the re-appointment of Minister Hunt to the crucial portfolio of Health and look forward to continuing to work with him to ensure that Australians have access to the best possible medical technology,” said CEO Ian Burgess.

“We acknowledge Mr Hunt’s commitment to the medical devices industry to continue to honour the Agreement signed with the sector in 2017,” said Mr Burgess.

Under the agreement signed in 2017, medical device companies agreed to $1.1 billion in price reductions, which was the key factor in private health insurers delivering the lowest premium increases in 18 years. 

“We also welcome the re-appointment of the Hon Karen Andrews to the role of Industry, Science and Technology,” added Mr Burgess.