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Catholic Health warns against cutting corners on insurance

Catholic Health Australia has said that health insurance must cover the cost of care to elderly and chronically ill patients.

The body representing Catholic hospitals and aged care institutions concedes the rise in health insurance premiums announced last week is necessary but it's time for stronger regulations to apply for paying for the cost of caring for elderly and chronically ill patients.

"A rise in premiums has obviously been necessary if the cost of care is to be met." said Francis Sullivan, CHA's CEO. "However, the Government now must ensure that health funds cover the full cost of care for the elderly and those with chronic conditions.

Mr Sullivan said there are already many instances where the extended management of medical and complex conditions are not fully met by health fund benefits.

"At this stage hospitals are wearing the cost but we don't want to see circumstances in the future where the elderly and chronically ill are priced out of private health care and back into public hospitals."

He called for new regulations that guarantee access and adequate funding. He suggested the Commonwealth investment in private health will need stronger strings attached in the interests of the patient.


Catholic Health Australia



7 Mar 2002