ED should give priority to private patients, insurer suggested

The idea was put forward by Medibank CEO George Savvides, according to Fairfax media reports. 

Speaking at the AMA’s annual parliamentary dinner in Canberra on Wednesday, AMA president Associate Professor Brian Owler said the idea was not well received. “Our speaker was a little taken aback by the rejection but also by the strength of the rejection,” he said. Professor Owler did not name the company or the individual in his speech. 

He described him as a guest speaker at the dinner and “the CEO of a large private health insurer”. “He tried to tell us that they wanted patients with private insurance in a public hospital emergency department to receive priority,” he said. 

“His question was if your son breaks his arm and goes to the emergency department, and you have private health insurance, why shouldn’t Little Johnny get priority?” 

Fairfax reported that

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