Members Health welcomes elective surgery return as COVID cases fall

Members Health has welcomed today’s announcement by the Prime Minister to allow States and Territories to start resuming more elective surgeries.

Matthew Koce, CEO of Members Health, said today’s announcement is a significant step towards the normalisation of general health care delivery across the country, particularly for the private health system.

More than 2.3 million people are admitted for elective surgery each year in Australia, with more than 60 per cent of those procedures taking place in a private hospital. Mr Koce said with restrictions being eased on elective surgery, the private system is expecting significant pent up demand for services.

“It’s important that Australians do not put off seeing a specialist or their GP, or neglect their general health issues. Many of the health conditions requiring elective surgery can be disabling, painful and even life threatening,” Mr Koce said.

“Delayed access to care can result in dependence on opioid pain killers, increased complexity of surgery down the track and trigger all sorts of other health issues that further impact quality of life.”

“We are talking about people who cannot see due to cataracts, people who cannot walk because their hips or knees need to be replaced or women suffering endometriosis.”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has been an exceptionally challenging time for all Australians. It is going to be a huge relief for millions of Australians that things are finally starting to get back to normal for healthcare.”

“I hope that today’s announcement encourages people to book back in to see their health care professionals. Whether that be their GP, surgeon, dentist, optometrist or physio, the Members Health funds stand ready to help cover the bill.”

With COVID-19 cases continuing to decline, today’s announcement allows each State or Territory to individually determine when and how to fully return to elective surgery.

Mr Koce said Australia’s health funds have always prided themselves on providing fast access to high quality care, and it has been pleasing to see doctors, hospitals, and health funds all working together with Governments to successfully combat COVID-19 and get elective surgery back on track.

“Australia’s mixed public and private health systems provides consumers with choice and is the best in the world when it comes to health outcomes.”

“Our funds look forward to taking care of their members and ensuring they get the best possible treatment available. Members Health commends the Prime Minister and Health Minister on their exceptional work managing the COVID-19 pandemic, and looks forward to continue working with the Government to return the country’s private health system to full capacity.”

Members Health is the peak industry body for an alliance of 27 health funds that are not-for-profit or part of a member-owned group, regional or community based. They all share the common ethic of putting their members’ health before profit. Our funds represent the interests of more than 3 million Australians.

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Eddie.Morton@membershealth.com.au

0499 700 295