Stronger partnerships needed between private health and GPs

In its firmest stance yet on the issue, the association this morning argued in a new position statement that a range of PHI services already offered to customers could potentially benefit GP patients but were operating in isolation rather than collaboration.

The statement comes after Health Minister Peter Dutton hinted at the possibility of a greater role for private health insurers in primary care, saying he was open to having a discussion about it. 

Doctors have warned such moves may result in a two-tier system of healthcare that would reduce access to care for those on lower incomes.

However AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said PHI services such as telephone coaching, exercise physiologists, dieticians, and physiotherapists to aid management of chronic conditions – while welcome – actually risked fragmenting care.

“By supporting a greater role for GPs in private health insurance arrangements, there is the