Health Minister Greg Hunt has made his mark on Australia’s healthcare system, overseeing the country’s COVID-19 pandemic response and changes in private health insurance, Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA) CEO Michael Roff says.
Mr Roff, who has worked closely with the Minister since he took on the health portfolio in January 2017, congratulated Mr Hunt on his political career and acknowledged his impact on Australia’s healthcare system.
“Greg Hunt has overseen some of the most challenging times for the health care sector, leading the Australian response to the COVID-19 pandemic. His efforts at the outset of the pandemic ensured Australians had access to the full hospital system – bringing public and private hospitals together in an historic agreement,” Mr Roff said.
“This deal meant all Australians had access to the 657 hospitals, 35,000 beds, and 57,000 nurses in the private hospital sector, which was put into practice most notably in Victoria in 2020. Coming to an agreement in a matter of days was no small feat and is a testament to Mr Hunt’s negotiation skills.”
Mr Roff said the Health Minister had also led a review of Australia’s private health insurance sector.
“Mr Hunt worked with the private health sector and introduced important reforms like the instant upgrade of private health insurance for Australians in need of psychiatric hospital admission. This recognised the role private mental health facilities play as well as the need for better access to services.
“Since setting out his ‘four pillars” long-term health plan Mr Hunt has worked towards ensuring high quality health care is available to Australians.
“He has recognised the important role the private hospital sector has in delivering high quality health care for millions of Australians every year and worked closely with us to achieve his goals,” he said.
Mr Roff said there was still work to do, including reforms of the Prostheses List, which Mr Hunt has been leading.
“I look forward to continuing my work with Mr Hunt until the end of this parliamentary term. I acknowledge his willingness to listen to all sides of a debate and not always take the easy route. He has never shirked from tough discussions and has put Australian patients at the forefront of his thinking.
“I wish Greg all the very best for his retirement from parliament and the next stage of his career,” Mr Roff said.