MTAA Congratulates the new Ministerial Team

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The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA) has congratulated the Hon Mark Butler MP on his appointment as Deputy Leader of the House and Minister for Health and Aged Care. Minister Butler has long shown his dedication to the health of Australians both through his past work as Minister for Mental Health and Ageing and, more recently, as Shadow Minister for Health and Aged Care. 

Minister Butler will be accompanied by a team of exemplar assistant ministers in Ged Kearney as Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Emma McBride as Assistant Minister for Mental Health, and Rural and Regional Health, and Senator Malarndirri McCarthy as Assistant Minister for Indigenous Australians and Indigenous Health. 

MTAA has already enjoyed a productive relationship with Minister Butler and his assistant ministers during their time in Opposition. Mr Butler was an important voice in calling for Prostheses List Reform to deliver on its goals of protecting patient access and clinician choice. And during the Federal Election campaign, Mr Butler committed to honouring the four-year Prostheses List Agreement signed between MTAA and the Commonwealth in March of this year. 

MTAA CEO, Ian Burgess, said Minister Butler and his assistant ministers represent a highly skilled and dedicated team. 

“MTAA has every confidence Minister Butler and the new government’ health team will approach their portfolios with the highest level of dedication. MTAA looks forward to continuing to work with Minister Butler and his assistant ministers to deliver the best health outcomes for Australian patients,” Mr Burgess said.

MTAA has also congratulated the incoming Industry and Science Minister, the Hon Ed Husic MP. Mr Burgess said Minister Husic recognises Australia has the opportunity to better utilise our highly educated workforce and invest more in Australian medical manufacturing.

Labor has committed to investing $1.5B in medical manufacturing, which will support Australia’s next wave of MedTech innovation.

One of the first challenges that Mr Butler will need to address is the cost-of-living pressure corporate private health insurers place on Australian families. MTAA has put forward a ‘7 Point Plan’ to address the inequities of private health insurance, force insurers to pay back what’s fair to consumers, and ensure the system puts patients and not profits at the heart of its focus.

MTAA’s ‘7 Point Plan’ recommends the government adopt the following:

  • Force insurers to return 100% of COVID-19 profits to members,
  • Require insurers to pay out a minimum of 90 per cent of their revenue to members,
  • Establish a Private Health System regulator to develop a reform agenda to increase sustainability and protect patients,
  • Refuse premium increases for insurers whose claims ratio is below the industry average, 
  • Prevent insurers from providing rebates for unproven treatments,
  • Standardise rebates for services across insurers to streamline administration and provide certainty for consumers, and 
  • Hold an inquiry into the corporate and tax structures of insurers to identify opportunities to reduce management expenses.

“These reforms address the drivers of ongoing premium increases, support the sustainability of Australia’s private health sector, and will stop private health insurance from driving Australia’s cost of living crisis. They will break the cycle of ongoing above-inflation premium increases and ensure the affordability of private health insurance for all Australians,” Mr Burgess said.