ABC News Online 18 January 2013 - Defence Health Services Contract
31 January 2013
An online article published on 18 January 2013 (ref. ABC News online, Key defence cities struggling to find medics) contains misleading suggestions about the quality of health care being delivered to Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel under the Australian Government contract with Medibank Health Solutions.
There is no higher priority for Defence than the health of its members and Defence assures all servicemen and women there will be no reduction in the level of care or access to services under the new contract.
Since 29th October 2012, the Medibank Health Solutions centralised appointment team has made over 14,000 appointments for ADF members. The vast majority of ADF personnel requiring surgery or specialist treatment are being referred to preferred providers under the Medibank Health Solutions contract. In geographic areas where Medibank Health Solutions may not have a preferred provider service, ADF personnel continue to have access to other medical specialists as required. Referrals to non-contracted specialists currently represent only 20% of all referrals made.
Medibank Health Solutions assures Defence that its negotiations with specialists in several locations continue and that specialists are still signing up. At the end of 2012, Medibank Health Solutions had secured the services of over 3500 specialists, 6800 individual allied healthcare professionals and 200 hospitals. They are already providing a great variety of health services to Defence members.
Defence has entered into the Medibank Health Solutions contract to achieve the best health services for ADF members, whilst ensuring efficient use of Australian taxpayer funds. The contract with Medibank Health Solutions aims to ensure Defence obtains value for money for its health service spending – not to cut costs.
There is no higher priority for Defence than the health of its members. Defence assures all servicemen and women there will be no degradation in the level of care and services afforded to them. The contract with Medibank Health Solutions will continue to ensure ADF members receive the best health services, in the most cost efficient way.