The country's largest union, the
Under the plan announced today by Opposition Leader
"We acknowledge the need for an effective private health system. But the fact is, fees for private health insurance cover are out of control and now becoming unaffordable for most families,"
"We find it grossly unfair that the big private health insurers are reaping in billions of dollars through Government subsidies, yet continuing to hurt Australian taxpayers with their spiralling fees and out of pocket costs. There's a lack of transparency and too much confusion for consumers who are getting trapped in their policies' fine print with multiple exclusions. Too many legitimate services are not covered by a number of policies while others, with no clear evidence base, are.
"The public contribution to private health insurance is far too great and isn't providing a fair return for taxpayers and the wider community, in either health or economic terms.
"The private health system has a legitimate and important role as an alternate choice for the provision of health care but its operation must not be at the expense of publicly provided services available to all. We must ensure that the private health system continues to provide best practice and evidenced based care, for those who choose to access the system, in a complementary role to a high quality, viable and effective public health system.
"It's clear that the private health system needs a total overhaul to ensure that it is practical and affordable for those people who need it and it's also imperative that Government subsidies for private health insurance firms are reduced and gradually removed, with that money put back into the public system. As frontline nurses and midwives, we understand how important health care is and how there's an urgent need to protect