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New chair of Health Insurance Commission [Barry Catchlove]

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Media release


The Hon Dr Michael Wooldridge

Minister for Health and Family Services


MW 172/98

6 August 1998




The Federal Minister for Health and Family Services, Dr Michael Wooldridge, today announced the appo intment of Dr Barry Catchlove as the new chair of the Health Insurance Commission (HIC).


“Dr Catchlove is highly regarded within the medical profession with 34 years experience in the public and private health sectors and I am pleased that the HIC will benefit from his knowledge, energetic commitment and vision,” Dr Wooldridge said.


“He has extensive experience and an excellent understanding of the issues confronting the health industry,” he said.


In a long and distinguished career in health care administration, Dr Catchlove held the positions of Chief Executive Officer of Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital, National President of the Australian Hospital Association and Chairman of the Australian Council on Healthcare Standards. He is a senior executive with Mayne Nickless, a multinational Australian company involved in transport, telecommunication and health care. Until recently, Dr Catchlove was chief executive of Mayne Nickless’ health care arm, Health Care of Australia (HCOA).


“During his time as CEO of HCOA, Dr Catchlove pioneered private sector involvement in the contracted provision of public hospital services and recently led the way in developing simplified billing systems at Melbourne Private Hospital,” he said.


“The Health Insurance Commission will also benefit from Dr Catchlove’s previous membership of a number of government and non government boards, including the Hospitals Contribution Fund and the Industries Assistance Commission,” Dr Wooldridge said.


Dr Catchlove’s appointment as chair of the Health Insurance Commission is for a term of five years.


Dr Wooldridge also thanked outgoing chair Allan Thomson, who has held the position since 1 January 1996. Mr Thomson very ably lead the Commission through the difficult process of the separation of Medibank Private from the management of Government programs which is now the sole responsibility of the Commission. Mr Thomson has been chair of Medibank Private Ltd since it became a government owned business enterprise on 1 May 1998 and will remain in that position.


The Health Insurance Commission is a Commonwealth Statutory Authority responsible for the administration of payments under Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and a number of other related programs including the Australian Childhood Immunisation Register and the Childcare Rebate Scheme.


Further information: Bill Royce, Dr Wooldridge’s office (02) 6277 7220