Health funds back private hospital capacity guarantee

28 Mar 2020Media Releases

Private Healthcare Australia (PHA) has backed calls by a coalition of private hospital operators for a national approach to guaranteeing private hospital capacity to keep critical staff employed.

“We need a coordinated national response to ensure doctors and nurses working in private hospitals keep their jobs. This is critical in the current environment,” PHA Chief Executive Dr Rachel David said.

“The public hospital system alone will not able to cope with the pressure and the post COVID surge in non-emergency surgery.

“We must maintain the full capacity of our world class private hospital system particularly in the area of surgery – the demand for surgery has been paused, it is still there and not going away.

“Private hospitals need capacity to take care of emergencies in the short term and to manage the bottleneck of non-emergency surgery that will undoubtedly follow this crisis.

“Parking essential health workers at home while the rest of the sector is under enormous pressure is not the answer. It will create a crisis in surgery waiting lists down the track when the COVID-19 crisis is over.”

Demand for elective surgery is likely to rebound and create a huge bottleneck in the health system in six months. Australia’s health funds are doing everything possible to ease financial pressure on their members and continue to provide essential health services. This includes funding some vital telehealth services for psychology and physiotherapy.

If a consumer’s financial circumstances change, they are encouraged to talk to their health fund before considering whether to drop their cover.


Notes to the Editor



Media contact: Jen Eddy 0439 240 755