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Catholic Health seeks Medicare 'Grey Card' for older Australians

Catholic Health Australia has proposed a Medicare Grey Card that will give uninsured low income people over 70 access to elective surgical and medical services available in the private sector when waiting lists in public hospitals are too long.

Chief Executive Officer Francis Sullivan said: "The government must fund the real cost of public hospital care. The Medicare Grey Card forms the centrepiece of CHA's election issues paper, A Fairer Health Compact, which calls on the incoming government to fund the Card as part of an overhaul of health and aged care funding valued $2.6 billion annually."

CHA's strategy identifies four major areas of reform including Medicare, Aged Care, Integrated and Community Care and Oral Health. A statement released yesterday stresses reforms based on the protection and enhancement of human dignity.

Mr Sullivan said: "A functional health and aged care system requires a concerted public investment strategy. Whether through tax increases, clawback on middle class welfare or savings measures across government, the onus will be on the next government to adequately meet growth, supply and delivery pressures of the system."

He suggested CHA's reforms involve a modest five per cent increase in Australia's health and aged care budget.