Dentists warn GPs against letting insurers into primary health

Dentists’ experience of working with the private health insurance industry points to bad outcomes for patients and practitioners and a model of care where profit is the sole motivator, the Australian Dental Association (ADA) says. 

ADA CEO Robert Boyd-Boland told a senate inquiry on Wednesday that private insurers compromised the care of patients by interfering with established patient-practitioner relationships and directing fund members to preferred-provider networks.

The business practices of health funds had resulted in less choice and higher out-of-pocket costs for patients, artificial inflation of dental care costs, and damage to family dentists whose goal was the health and welfare of their patients, he said.

Mr Boyd-Boland said the health funds’ role was conflicted in a situation where they exerted control over provider, premiums, rebates, costs and treatment.

“It’s like picking the horses at the race