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Right to put the spotlight on private health insurance

The news about Bupa is timely. With large numbers of people discontinuing their private health insurance, the AMA and consumer advocate organisations, such as CHOICE, should be revealing that companies such as Bupa and Medibank Private have shareholders, who receive a dividend each year, and they sponsor major sports such as tennis, cricket and golf. Such activities use large amounts of members’ contributions, which could be used to provide more comprehensive cover for their health needs.

It is time for the AMA and other consumer advocate organisations to point out that non-profit health insurers provide much better value, and the federal government should be urged to make all health insurers non-profit.

Some 40-50 years ago health insurers were branches of church and community groups such as lodges – IOOF, Hibernian, etc. – and other societies and employers which were non-profit. The Doctors’ Health Fund is a good example of such an insurer. A return to non-profit status would reduce the current trend to ‘Americanise’ our health services.

Dr John A. Crowhurst B.Pharm., MB BS, Dip.(Obst.)RCOG, FANZCA, FRCA.
Consultant Anaesthetist (Ret.)
Linden Park, SA