THE decision by the Federal Government to grant health insurance funds a hike of up to 9 per cent on their fees has no doubt left many Australians perplexed.
After being encouraged to join a health fund and rightly expecting that fees would be kept down because of the increase in the number of contributors, many low-income Australians now find that they will have to either reduce their cover or drop out of the insurance system.
The health business is admittedly an expensive one, but the latest increases will only assist to drive up fees further in the future as a smaller pool of people is adequately covered by health insurance.
The public health system needs a major injection of funds to ensure its survival.
Relying on private health funds to increasingly run our hospitals and health care will only take us further down the road of the American health model which is notorious for being driven by whether an injured patient can afford to be treated rather than treating them first and considering the questions of cost later.
Health care is becoming a business focused on profit-making rather than helping the sick.
The Federal Government should take another look at the impact of an increasingly privatised health industry and the difficulties this may cause in the future.
Nobody wants to end up on their death bed and find they cannot afford to be saved because of the cost of treatment.