Putting members’ health before profit

End medical device rip offs to improve healthcare affordability

Updated pricing data from France has again supported the pressing need for tough measures to curb profiteering by large multinational medical device companies operating in Australia.

The French data exposes the grossly inflated prices charged in Australia for medical devices that are used to treat serious health conditions and further supports the case for the Albanese Government’s reform efforts.

Matthew Koce, CEO of Members Health, the peak body for 26 of Australia’s not-for-profit or member-owned health insurers has welcomed the Federal Government’s proposed introduction of legislative changes to lower the costs of medical devices paid by privately insured patients.

A comparison of the latest pricing data from Australia and France, shows that some of the world’s largest manufacturer’s prices for hip replacement components are a massive 135 to 197 per cent more in Australia. While pacemakers are priced between 27 to 87 per cent more.

Members Health’s analysis of the data shows some medical devices costing private health consumers $4,337 more for an identical device in Australia than in France.

“The current situation is appalling and untenable. The data paints a shocking picture, suggesting vulnerable Australians in need of healthcare are being exploited and ripped off.” Matthew Koce said.

“The Albanese Government and in particular, Health Minister Mark Butler deserves to be commended for so quickly getting work underway on draft legislation that will for the first time hold the big powerful multinational medical device industry to account and protect Australian families.”

“The latest price comparison data is a major blow for consumers, providing a compelling justification for the legislative reforms underway to mandate fair prices that will put downward pressure on healthcare costs and help families with cost of living pressures.” Mr. Koce said.

Mr. Koce said Members Health considers the Government’s proposed legislative changes as critical to fixing a system that has for far too long let big multinational corporations rip off Australian consumers.

“Due to outdated, manipulated and broken regulation, Australian private health consumers have been forced to pay more for identical medical devices available overseas for far too long. It is no wonder we are called ‘Treasure Island’.”

“Policyholders can be assured that any savings flowing from these changes will be passed on by the 26 Members Health funds, who always put consumers first, not profits.”

Members Health is the peak industry body for an alliance of 26 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 5 million Australians.

Download the data and media release

Media enquires: Matt.Harris@membershealth.com.au 0479 135 464