Members Health has welcomed efforts to fix the assessment process for listing medically implanted devices or protheses.
The new Medical Devices and Human Tissue Advisory Committee will replace the Prostheses List Advisory Committee. The new committee will provide recommendations on clinical and cost effectiveness of medical devices and the benefits payable by private health insurers.
“The Health Minister’s announcement is an important step in the right direction for improved governance of medically implanted devices funded by private health insurers”, said Matthew Koce, CEO of Members Health Fund Alliance.
“We are particularly pleased that the new arrangements remove the involvement of stakeholders with direct and indirect pecuniary interests that could conflict with their duties on such a committee.”
“Prostheses regulation in Australia has been heavily influenced by big global medical technology companies and beset by too much controversy for far too long.”
“Members Health has long advocated for a more independent, objective and professional regulatory approval process. The reforms announced by Minister Butler align with these principles and will help restore public confidence.”
“It is staggering that the cost of medically implanted devices, can be many times more expensive in Australia than overseas.”
A comparison of the latest pricing data between Australia and France, shows that the world’s largest manufacturers for hip replacement components are charging a massive 130 to 191 per cent more in Australia, while pacemakers are being priced between 24 to 84 per cent more.
“There can be no question that a system is crisis when Australians pay up to 191% more for life-changing medical devices when compared to prices charged overseas. It is good to see Minister Butler taking such decisive action after only being in office for such a short period of time, with further reform on the way. Clearly this is a Minister who puts the public interest first, not big business and he deserves to be commended.
“Policyholders can be assured that any savings flowing from prostheses reform will be passed on by the 25 Members Health funds, who always put consumers first, not profits.”
Members Health is the peak industry body for an alliance of 25 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.
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