If you live in Australia and have private insurance, you are probably not too happy with your premiums right now. According to a report in the Guardian, private insurance premiums have increased by 5.6% every year since 2010. Obviously with insurance premiums rising so quickly, it is having a significant impact on individuals and families who are trying to pay for their medical care.
The Health Minister of Australia, Greg Hunt, says he is pushing to lower the premium increase to under 4%, which would represent the lowest premium percentage increase in 15 years, but many doctors in Australia, like Dr. Rodney Aziz, say this is not nearly enough. The head of the Australian Medical Association, Dr. Michael Gannon, said that he did appreciate the attempt to rein in premiums for the year, but he and other doctors believe that this won’t contribute to a long term plan and will simply be a one-off. He also said that he understands why some might question the value of private health insurance.
Obviously, doctors like Dr. Rodney Aziz are more concerned for the care of their patients than how they pay for it. Australia has constantly ranked in the top few for most popular and effective healthcare systems. Australia has a private-public healthcare system, which means funding of the healthcare system involves government funding as well as private insurance. The Australian government has a number of mechanisms in place to encourage people to take out private health insurance, including the Medicare Levy Surcharge, a tax rebate for those who enroll in public health insurance, and the lifetime health cover.
Dr. Rodney Aziz and other doctors will have to wait and see what the public and private health insurance markets do to try and make healthcare more affordable to individuals and families in Australia. As of right now, the doctors who work tirelessly to ensure the care of their patients will just have to continue providing the very best care that they can.