When Insurers Choose, Patients Lose - Campaign Launched to Protect Patient Choice

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A new public health campaign to protect Australians’ access to life-saving therapies and medical technologies has gone live today.

The campaign, launched by the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), is focused on championing positive reforms to Australians’ private health insurance, while refuting the negative misinformation campaign being undertaken by the big corporate insurance lobby.

MTAA CEO, Ian Burgess, said the medical technology community was joining the chorus of doctors, hospitals and consumer groups who have already raised significant concerns with proposed changes to private health insurance that could restrict patient access and doctor choice of evidence-based medical devices.

“Currently Australians’ access to life-saving therapies and medical devices is protected by the Prostheses List, a list of medical devices assessed by the government as proven technologies which deliver clinical benefits to patients,” Mr Burgess said.

“Insurers are currently required to fund these devices when they are chosen by doctors as the best treatment for their patient.

“But the future of the Prostheses List is currently under threat by insurers who want a different system – one which would allow them to refuse to fund medical devices, even when recommended by a patient’s doctor.

“That’s why we are launching the Protect Patient Choice campaign and calling on the public to fight back against the insurance industry’s misinformation campaign. It’s time consumers understood that their healthcare choices may be at risk – when insurers choose, patients lose.”

The Protect Patient Choice website will serve as a public resource for news and information about the rights of patients, the reforms being considered by government and ways for the public to reach out to their local MP.

The campaign is urging all Australians who care about their health to visit www.protectpatientchoice.org.au and support the campaign’s cause.