Health care insurance is being phased-out across the Commonwealth, with the Government committing to scrapping the scheme in 2018-19.
The move comes as the Government announced plans to scrap the $3.9 billion Health Care Finance Scheme, which provides healthcare payments to some 1.3 million Australians, with some health insurers also seeking to sell off their assets to reduce the debt burden of the scheme.
“As the Commonwealth’s health insurance program becomes less viable due to declining private patient numbers, the Government is committed to ending the Commonwealth Government Health Insurance Scheme,” Health Minister Steven Miles said in a statement.
“This will ensure the Commonwealth has the capacity to provide quality and affordable health care to all Australians.”
Under the Health Care Financing Scheme, a taxpayer-owned insurer pays into the scheme, which was originally created by the Howard government to help low-income families and families on low incomes, with proceeds being used to cover the cost of hospital services, medicines and prescriptions.
The scheme was set up in 1998 by the Rudd government in an attempt to address Australia’s health needs and the fact it had not achieved universal coverage in the past, despite its population of more than 6.5 million.
But the scheme was not able to meet the demand from patients.
In 2012-13, the Commonwealth announced it would end the scheme by 2018-2019.
But in January this year, the Abbott Government announced a further $6.3 billion for the scheme which will see the scheme funded to the tune of $1.5 billion in 2020-21.
However, it will be phased out by 2020-20.
Mr Miles said the Government would be pursuing an option to extend the scheme beyond that point.
“It is the right decision for the Commonwealth to move ahead with this phase out,” he said.
Topics:health-policy,health,health-insurance,financial-markets,federal-government,government-and-politics,budget,healthcare,government,australia,indonesiaFirst posted April 01, 2019 12:33:46Contact Ashley McKeonMore stories from Western Australia