FEAR KEEPING PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE UP

FEAR KEEPING PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE UP

 "Private Health Insurance (PHI) coverage is not falling despite the Coalition's fear campaign against means testing the PHI rebate and the change in the Medicare Levy Surcharge threshold", said Dr Tracy Schrader, President, Doctors Reform Society. "It is quite correct for the Health Minister Tanya Plibersek to point out how wrong the Coalition was but it is important to recognise that the reason PHI coverage is not falling is that people fear being dependent on a public hospital system they don't trust will serve them well. The Government should be ashamed that it is fear that is maintaining these figures, and that it has not addressed that fear."

 "Some of this fear is based on the incorrect judgement that the quality of care in public hospitals is inferior," said Dr Schrader. "There is no evidence of that. Some of this fear relates to concern about having to wait for care. In the case of life saving care this is also not justified, but for elective surgery like hip replacements that fear is quite justified.""

 "The great thing about fear is that it doesn't need to be based on evidence", said Dr Schrader. "Politicians of both sides use it for their own purposes. Meanwhile patients either pay for PHI or wait and suffer."

Dr Tracy Schrader                            Dr Tim Woodruff                             

President                                          Vice President                        

Doctors Reform Society                  Ph 0401042619

Ph 0408892610