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Calls For Patient Power Revolution In Health Care Financing - Medicare Funds Should Be Paid In Advance Direct To Patients Medical Savings AccountsTue, 22 Jul 1997

One of Australia's leading sports injury Orthopaedic Surgeons, Sydney based Dr Merv Cross, has called for a dramatic change in Australia's health care financing system.

Dr Cross is addressing the Australian Private Hospitals Association NSW State Conference at the KPMG Centre Level 27, 45 Clarence Street,Sydney on Wednesday, 23 July 1997 at 11:00am.

"I am advocating a system where each year Medicare sends a cheque to every eligible Australian made payable to their Medical Savings Account." Dr Cross said.

"I want to see a system where Australians have their own individual health fund which they manage and which they can grow over time."

"The Medical Savings Account would also contain a regulation catastrophe insurance package for major in-hospital episodes of illness."

"Any financial institution, including credit card firms, should be able to offer Medical Savings Accounts."

"Medical Savings Accounts should be only for those who want it and who are prepared to opt out of existing medicare arrangements. Those that choose to stay in Medicare should be allowed to continue as is." Dr Cross said.

Currently medical insurance is illegal for any organisation other than Medicare. Foreign visitors who are unable to obtain Medicare benefits are the big exception. Unlike Australians they can get 100% medical insurance to AMA fees.

"Australians need real competition in health care and this will only occur when the Government empowers every Australian to go out and choose what they want."

"Patient power, consumer sovereignty, call it what you will but let's let Australians choose what they want. Most Australians are capable at clothing and feeding themselves and most can make choices in medical treatment if the system lets them" Dr Cross said.

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