Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Do we really have free health care?

Todays Canberra Times reports new Productivity Commission data on the ACT Health system.

Emergency waiting times are the worst in Australia.
Waiting times for elective surgery are ridiculously long.
And this is not due to lack of money. Canberra Hospital is one of the most expensive in the country to run.

As a result of access problems, many people who can't afford it are forced into the private system, paying health insurance premiums they can only just afford, then huge gap payments on top of that if they require treatment.

The article reports that bulk billing rates in the ACT are the lowest in Australia. $15,000.00 is the reported cost of having a baby, with the quality of care also being questioned.

The ACT Government's war on Visiting Medical Officers (VMOs) in public hospitals has backfired badly. Forcing many VMOs into the private sector over the last decade has meant that the public system in unable to cope with demand and many patients have been forced to follow the VMOs into the private system. The same VMOs are now operating on the same patients, but in private rather than public, and earning more money for the same work.