The Minister for Health, Greg Hunt has promised to ‘’do more’’ to address public hospitals encouraging private patients to use their health insurance in the public system.
Officially opening the new Holmesglen Private Hospital in Melbourne, Minister Hunt told reporters the Government was committed to action on premium increases and private patients in public hospitals.
“Every dollar matters to Australian families, every dollar matters to Australian seniors and pensioners, and so my task,…is to find the ways to reduce pressure.
“I think we can do more on prostheses, I think we can do more on the issue of private patients in public hospitals.
“Both of those offer significant opportunities for reducing the pressure on private health insurance, which in turn reduces the pressure on public waiting lists,” said Mr Hunt.
He said private hospitals have an important role in the Australian health care system.
“Significantly, the private hospital system takes pressure off public waiting lists. The private hospital system takes pressure off public waiting lists and it gives Australians choice. So two incredibly important outcomes,” Mr Hunt said.
Mr Hunt said Holmesglen Private was further evidence of the ‘’wonderful’’ public and private system in Australia.
He said the partnership between Healthscope and Holmesglen TAFE is exactly what should be happening, resulting in additional facilities to provide improved care for more Australians.
The new hospital has been in development for five years, upgrading the former TAFE hotel training facilities to become a new training hospital.
Healthscope CEO, Robert Cooke said the partnership created a training hospital for nurses and allied health students, more health care options and will employ more than 500 staff for the people of Melbourne.
“Together Healthscope and Holmesglen TAFE have provided future health care leaders with a state of the art training hospital,” said Mr Cooke.
The 166 bed hospital welcomed its first patients in January 2017 and will deliver care to tens of thousands of patients in Melbourne’s inner south.
“With the next closest emergency department 15km away, Holmesglen Private will provide world class hospital services to local residents, dramatically reducing their need to seek healthcare out of their local area,” said Mr Cooke.
The hospital offers an extensive range of services including a 24 hour emergency department, intensive care, coronary care, cardiac catheter laboratory and oncology services.