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Text of telegram sent to Mr Keith Moon, President of Voluntary Health Insurance Association of Australia



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T h e M i n i s t e r f o r H e a l t h , Mr R a l p h H u n t ,

t o d a y r e l e a s e d t h e t e x t o f a t e l e g r a m s e n t

t o Mr K e i t h M o o n , P r e s i d e n t o f t h e V o l u n t a r y

H e a l t h I n s u r a n c e A s s o c i a t i o n o f A u s t r a l i a ,

i n r e p l y t o a t e l e g r a m f r o m Mr M oon w h i c h

t h e A s s o c i a t i o n r e l e a s e d t o t h e m e d ia

y e s t e r d a y o '

CANBERRA, 2 F e b r u a r y . 1 9 7 8

COPY OF TELEGRAM TO;

m KEITH MOON ' .

PRESIDENT ' ■ .

VOLUNTARY HEALTH INSURANCE ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA

G «PoO . BOX 9 9 0

ADELAIDE S .A . 5001 '

I HAVE RECEIVED YOUR TELEGRAM EXPRESSING YOUR A SSO C IA T IO N 'S ■

CONCERN THAT THE BASIC MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL CONTRIBUTION RATES

OFFERED BY MEDIBANK PRIVATE IN VICTORIA WILL NOT BE INCREASED

AT TH IS TIM E, AND- THUS WILL REMAIN BELOW THOSE BEING SOUGHT BY

OTHER VOLUNTARY HEALTH INSURANCE ORGANISATIONS IN THAT STATE STOP

MEDIBANK PRIVATE HAS NOT APPLIED FOR INCREASES IN IT S BASIC CON­

TRIBUTION RATES IN VICTORIA — A SIM ILAR SITUATION TO THOSE WHICH

AT PRESENT E X IST IN NEW SOUTH WALES WHERE THE MEDICAL B EN EFITS

FUND OF AUSTRALIA Ha S'N O T APPLIED FOR AN INCREASE IN THAT STATE,

AND IN SOUTH AUSTRALIA WHERE THE LARGER FUNDS, V IZ» THE MUTUAL

HOSPITALS ASSOCIATION AND THE NATIONAL HEALTH SERVICES ASSOCIATION

HAVE NOT MADE ANY APPLICATION TO MY DEPARTMENT FOR INCREASES IN

THEIR BASIC TABLE CONTRIBUTION RATES STOP . ■

I MAKE THE IMPORTANT OBSERVATION THAT THE NATIONAL HEALTH A C T,

PARTS V I AND V IA , IMPOSE ON ME AS M IN ISTER THE R E SP O N SIB IL IT Y OF

SATISFYING MYSELF THAT AN ORGANISATION I S AND REMAINS VIABLE STOP

THE CYCLICAL REVIEW ARRANGEMENT BEING IMPLEMENTED BY MY DEPARTMENT

I S A MECHANISM THAT HAS BEEN INTRODUCED TO ENABLE ME TO DISCHARGE

THIS R E S P O N S IB IL IT Y , AND I NOTE PARTICULARLY THAT THE INTRODUCTION

OF THESE NEW ARRANGEMENTS Ha S ALREADY BEEN DISCUSSED AND·ENDORSED

BY THE HEALTH INSURANCE ADVISORY COMMITTEE STOP ■ .

THE A C T IV IT IE S AND EXPERIENCE OF KEDIBANK PRIVATE IN VICTORIA ’

COME WITHIN-THE AMBIT OF T H IS CYCLICAL REVIEW AND THE MACHINERY I S

ALREADY AVAILABLE TO MYSELF AND MY DEPARTMENT TO CONDUCT ANY IN ­

DEPTH REVIEW OF ANY FUND, WHERE T H I S .I S FELT TO BE NECESSARY, AND

FOR ME TO D IRECTREM EDIA L OR. OTHER ACTION WHICH WOULD APPEAR TO

ME TO BE REQUIRED FOLLOWING SUCH A REVIEW STOP ’

000

2 ®

I W ILL STRESS AGAIN, AS I HAVE DONE IN THE PA ST, THAT MED IBANK

. PRIVATE I S TREATED IN THE SAKE WAY AS ANY OTHER PRIVATE HEALTH

INSURANCE ORGANISATION, AND I S REQUIRED TO CONFORM IN ALL WAYS WITH

THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE LEGISLATION STOP '

MEDIBANK PRIVATE MAKES APPLICATION FOR INCREASES IN RATES AND IS

REQUIRED TO HAVE RULES SIMILAR TO OTHER ORGANISATIONS AND TO GO

THROUGH THE PROCESSES OF THE REGISTRATION COMMITTEE STOP

I CAN ASSURE YOU AND YOUR ASSOCIATION THAT MEDIBANK PRIVATE RE­

CEIVES NO PR IO R ITY TREATMENT OR SERVICES FROM MY DEPARTMENT OR

FROM ME AS M INISTER STOP ■ . .

I Ca N ASSURE YOU TOO THAT MEDIBANK PRIVATE MEDICAL AND HOSPITAL

CONTRIBUTION RATES IN VICTORIA ARE NOT BEING SUBSIDISED BY MY

GOVERNMENT, BY MEDIBANK STANDARD OR FROM ANY OTHER SOURCE STOP

I AM' ASTONISHED THa T YOU SHOULD SUGGEST IN YOUR TELEGRAM THAT ANY

PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE FUND WHICH DOES NOT INCREASE IT S CONTRIB­

UTION RATES COULD BE ACCUSED OF ACTING AGAINST THE INTERESTS OF

IT S CONTRIBUTORS STOP ' . .

I APPLAUD MEDIBANK PRIVATE IN V IC TO R IA , M . 3 . F . IN NEW SOUTH WALES,

the south A u str a lia n funds mentioned a b o v e , and any other funds

FOR THAT RATTER WHICH ARE RETAINING EX ISTIN G CONTRIBUTION RATES

AND AT THE SAME TIME ARE REMAINING VIABLE AND· HEALTHY STOP

I AM MORE THAN DELIGHTED THAT A SENSE OF REAL COMPETITION IS NOW

EVIDENT IN THE PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE FIELD STOP ;

RALPH J . HUNT. '

M INISTER FOR HEALTH . ' . ' . ' .

PARLIAMENT HOUSE ' ■ · ' ' '

CANBERRA ■ ' ■ ■