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About HBF

HBF Warns of More Struggles Ahead

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Western Australia’s largest health insurer said a report that shows public hospital elective surgery waiting times continue to grow, should serve as a reminder of the importance of maintaining the balance of Australia’s health system.

HBF Managing Director Rob Bransby said findings in the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare report released yesterday, underlined the need for a strong private health system.

"The report shows that despite the Federal Government injecting hundreds of millions of dollars of extra funding into the public health system, the states continue to struggle to meet demand," he said.

"While the public system is bursting at the seams, the Federal Government’s attack on private health insurance is jeopardising the balance between public and private healthcare that has served this country so well."

Mr Bransby was referring to the Federal Government’s proposed dismantling of the 30% Private Health Insurance Rebate, which threatens to drive people out of private health insurance and onto public hospital waiting lists.

"The key to making private health insurance attractive and keeping down the cost of premiums, is ensuring that as many people as possible have an incentive to contribute to the pool of funds available to pay claims," Mr Bransby said.

"Many of our members already make considerable sacrifices to take responsibility for their own healthcare through private health insurance. The Government’s changes to the 30% Rebate and MLS make private health insurance expensive - for everyone."

Mr Bransby warned that if the predicted one million* people abandon or downgrade their private cover as a result of changes to the 30% Rebate, Western Australia’s public hospitals would face further struggles.

"Undermining access to private hospitals will mean even more people will become dependent on WA’s already stretched public hospital system," he said.

HBF is not-for-profit fund that exists solely to help members cover the cost of their healthcare.

*Source: Australian Health Insurance Association
Media contact:  Rebecca Tapp, HBF, 08 9265 6361

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