Summary of the tenth meeting of the Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee, 7 September 2017, Parliament House, Canberra

This page contains information on the Private Health Ministerial Advisory Committee – Meeting Summaries

Page last updated: 29 September 2017

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Members Minister’s Office
Dr Jeffrey Harmer AO, Chair Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP (Item 2)
Marcus Dripps, Allied Health Professions Australia Wendy Black, Chief of Staff (Item 2)
Philip Truskett AM, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Alex Caroly, Senior Adviser (Item 2)
Toby Hall, Catholic Health Australia Proxies and Secretariat
Tony Lawson, Consumers Health Forum Andrea Kunca, Medical Technology Association of Australia
Ian Yates AM, COTA Charles Maskell-Knight, Secretariat
Matthew Koce, hirmaa Susan Azmi, Secretariat
Jane Griffiths, Day Hospitals Australia Peta McElgunn, Secretariat
Dr Rachel David, Private Healthcare Australia Mitch Docking, Secretariat (Items 1-3)
Anne Trimmer, Australian Medical Association Vanessa Sheehan, Secretariat (Item 4)
Michael Roff, Australian Private Hospitals Association Julianne Quaine, Department of Health, Observer
Garry Richardson, Expert member  
Natasha Cole, ex-officio (Items 1-2) Other attendees
  Catherine Boekel, Whereto Research (Item 3)
  Charles Coulton, Whereto Research (Item 3)
  Stuart Rodger, Deloitte Actuaries and Consultants  (Item 4)
  Nicole Stransky, Deloitte Actuaries and Consultants (Item 4)


Ian Burgess, Medical Technology Association of Australia

1. Welcome, apologies and introductions

  • The Chair noted apologies for this meeting.

2. Minister for Health

  • The Minister reiterated that private health insurance reform is a key priority for Government, with addressing cost pressures to improve affordability for consumers being an important focus.
  • The Minister discussed reforms with the Committee.
  • The Minister thanked the Committee for its continued work on private health insurance reform.

3. Product design

  • Ms Catherine Boekel and Mr Charles Coulton from Whereto Research presented consumer research into perceptions of basic hospital insurance and reactions to the possible introduction of Gold, Silver, Bronze product categorisation.
  • The research identified that while consumers value private health insurance, there was a high level of misunderstanding with many finding it confusing and difficult to understand.  Many consumers were also unaware of the scope of cover provided by basic hospital insurance.
  • Consumers were generally attracted to the idea of Gold, Silver, Bronze product categorisation and believed this could help simplify private health insurance.

4. Risk equalisation

  • The Committee noted that the Terms of Reference for the Committee’s Risk Equalisation Working Group had been agreed by the Committee out-of-session, and that appointments to the working group were being progressed by the Committee Secretariat.
  • The Committee considered a paper on private health insurance risk equalisation that provided an overview of the risk equalisation arrangements, including issues and options for change.  The Committee noted that the paper would be provided to the Risk Equalisation Working Group.
  • The Working Group is expected to meet up to five times before the end of December, and will report back to the Committee in February 2018

5. Clinical definitions

  • The Committee considered an issues paper with an updated list of clinical definitions.
  • The Committee agreed to further consider the following issues out-of-session:
    • private health insurance coverage for neonates; and
    • use of the term ‘dental surgery’ or ‘oral surgery’.

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