Revelations about secret kickbacks paid against medical device benefits highlight urgent need for further reform of medical device regulation in Australia

04 Jul 2018Media Releases

“Revelations by the ABC 7.30 Report yesterday about secret rebates paid against cardiac device benefits must be swiftly dealt with by the Federal Government. The regulation of transparency in the medical device market must dramatically improve,” CEO of Private Healthcare Australia Dr Rachel David said today.

“This is a clear indication medical device prices in the private sector are still overvalued, putting upward pressure on health fund premiums for all health fund members, and exposing patients to the risk of over-servicing and unsafe care, as the incentives are wrong.”

“The Federal Government has taken an important first step by decreasing mandated benefits for cardiac devices by 30% over 2 years, but we need a proper system of mandated price disclosure and reference pricing to bring the medical device market in line with the pharmaceutical sector”

“This means device benefits will reflect real market prices, and the real sale price and any cash or other benefits paid to providers must legally be disclosed by the device companies.”

“People seem to forget the medical device benefit paid for Prostheses List implants comes from money which belongs to health fund members. Not one cent of this should be paid out for anything other than direct patient care. Under the current system, it seems nameless third parties are still accessing these funds in the form of undisclosed deals and kickbacks” Dr David said.

“Health fund premium increases are the major reason people are reconsidering their commitment to private health insurance. Forcing health fund members to pay more than is necessary for common medical devices like pacemakers will ultimately damage the whole private health sector, including hospitals, as the system becomes less affordable”

“As an ageing population means more medical devices are being implanted than ever before, the government must act as soon as possible to shine a light on rebates, kickbacks and other inappropriate practices in this sector, to keep private health viable in future.”


Media contact: Ben Hamilton 0407 331 067