National Rural Health Alliance Chief Executive Susanne Tegen told the ABC that people in regional Australia were increasingly questioning whether private health insurance suited them.
In a report by the ABC titled, ‘Value of private health insurance in regional Australia questioned by long-time policy holders’, published on 22 February 2023, Ms Tegen was quoted as saying that many people in rural and remote Australia may have difficulty seeing the value in private health insurance.
'There often aren't any private hospitals in their region and, if there is one, it's very limited with the type of doctors that they have. So, the choice is meaningless.'
Ms Tegen said many people took out private health cover because they were scared about what might happen if they had a major health issue.
'If it's a disaster, or an accident or something, you tend to go to the public system anyway,' she said.
Ms Tegen said the Medicare Levy Surcharge was 'probably not' fair for people living in more remote parts of Australia, given they were unlikely to be able to access private health services even if they had a policy.