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Private insurance subsidy has increased stress on public health system, report says

BMJ 2004; 328 doi: (Published 26 February 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;328:486
  1. Bob Burton
  1. Canberra

    A discussion paper that challenges government subsidies for private health insurance as a way of supporting the private hospital system has drawn tentative support from Australia's leading doctors' group.

    The report's author, Ian McCauley, a lecturer at the University of Canberra's School of Business and Government, argues that subsidising private health insurance has made the public health system worse rather than better. “Because of the subsidies, scarce resources, particularly skilled staff, have been drawn to the private sector. There is no relief of the pressure on public hospitals,” Mr McCauley argues.

    The report was commissioned by the Australian Consumers Association and the Australian …

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