Reform commission assures GPs managed care is not on the agenda
THE National Health and Hospitals Reform Commission (NHHRC) has defended its controversial proposal for social health insurance as it prepares to hand the Federal Government its blueprint for health reform.
NHHRC chair Dr Christine Bennett said what had become the most contentious of the commission’s three proposed health funding models had been misunderstood as a form of managed care similar to that used in the US.
While not confirming which model the commission would favour in its final report, Dr Bennett said the “misunderstood” social insurance system was an attempt to put forward a “unique Australian model”.
The model would see the Commonwealth assume responsibility for health services, with every Australian required to enrol in a competing Government-funded health plan.
Australians would choose the most appropriate plan based on their individual health and care requirements, and plans would be allocated funding based on membership size and demographics.
“[Our proposal] is about a single universal entitlement for every Australian that has to be delivered through these plans – the consumer choice element is not a feature of the US system [unlike what we propose] and it is the fundamental of what we are saying,” Dr Bennett told MO.
Patients would be able to move to an alternate plan if they were not satisfied with the timeliness of their access to quality care, unlike the US system, under which employers chose care plans for their employees, she added.