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Catholic Health welcomes Govt cash relief for private health

Catholic Health Australia (CHA) has described the Federal Government's decision to provide cash relief to the elderly to purchase health insurance as a "positive" that "enables them to have a double shot at accessing essential hospital care".

CHA CEO Francis Sullivan was speaking after the release of the Government's increased health insurance rebates for 65 year olds and above.

The Federal Government announced on Sunday that it plans to lift the rebate on premiums paid by senior citizens, saving them up to $200 a year. The move was welcomed by industry lobby groups but questioned by the Opposition. It is likely to face strong resistance in the Senate.

CHA CEO Francis Sullivan said: "In its election document CHA has called for extra assistance by the Government for elderly Australians over 75 to better access hospital care. The Government's policy, although not as effective as CHA's proposal, does go some way towards recognising the present dilemma faced by elderly Australians in accessing hospital care."

"With the costs of health care out stripping the CPI and the ability of pensioners and self funded retirees to pay, it is essential that governments do more to better utilise the health system's capacity to provide hospital care when and where people need it."

"As it presently stands, elderly Australians either continue to struggle to pay for health insurance which is increasing at roughly 7% a year, or they are relegated to long waiting lists for public hospital care."

"A more equitable approach would see the government cater for the needs of the very old as it now does for the veterans."

Private health cash relief welcomed (Catholic Health Australia 23/8/04)

Health insurance rebate not enough: interest groups (ABC Radio PM 23/8/04)
Catholic Health Australia | Catholic Health Australia Election Package | Democrats pick some important issues (Catholic Health Australia 21/8/04)
Opposition rejects health insurance rebate for over 65s (The Advertiser 24/8/04)
Editorial: Adding to the ills of public health (The Age 24/8/04)
Healthy perk leaves old insurance dropouts feeling a little sick (Sydney Morning Herald 24/8/04)
No Senate support for private health insurance rebate increase (ABC Radio The World Today 23/8/04)
Health insurance rebate no bribe: Abbott (ABC 23/8/04)
Editorial: Yet another health bandaid (The Australian 24/8/04)
Editorial: Talking about the big questions (The Age 24/8/04)
Labor to act on health sweetener (The Age 24/8/04)
Call to scrap aged care concessions quota (The Australian 24/8/04)
Govt to lift aged health rebates - Industry applauds plan (Canberra Times 23/8/04)
Health boost for elderly 'only fair' (The Australian 24/8/04)

24 Aug 2004