There is no doubt that the promise of No Gap Maternity services is appealing to patients who are suffering under increasing insurance premiums coupled with static medicare and insurance fund rebates to cover escalating medical costs.
Similarly, obstetricians also need a reliable regular income to ensure a sustainable practice in these times of high overheads and falling private insurance coverage among pregnant women.
As you are hopefully aware, several groups are looking right now at finding solutions to this affordability and sustainability problem in obstetric care in Australia. The solutions being explored vary in structure and level of engagement of the profession but they all ultimately aim to achieve an increase in the number of women accessing private obstetric care in private hospitals.
You’ve heard a lot from me recently about where some of these programs might lead for doctors and patients in the longer term and of potential risks to the future of the profession if we get this next step wrong.
A viable private obstetric service in Australia is crucial to everyone. Not only must women maintain their hard fought for right to chose their maternity care giver, we also need to make sure that there will be sufficient interest from the next generation of doctors to meet the future needs of the families of Australia and undertake the long and arduous training needed to become a specialist Obstetrician and Gynaecologist.
If we can’t make private obstetric practice (where the vast majority of qualified obstetricians and gynaecologists will ultimately work) both attractive and economically viable for our trainees, the system will fall over. Without enough junior staff available to work safe hours, public services will also fall over.
Failure to sort out the problem is simply not an option and I am convinced that with genuine desire to reach a mutually satisfactory and sustainable solution, we can fix the problem.
Now, it is time to hear from you, our members and supporters, to make sure we have all the information we need to formulate the best approach on managing out of pocket costs
Please complete our quick survey to give us a snapshot of the opinion of Australia’s obstetricians on the way forward.
Other representative organisations are also gathering infomation on specific programs and I encourage you to also respond to their requests so that these surveys are truly representative.
Thank you for taking the time to help NASOG continue to develop our policy and advocacy approach on the issue of Out of Pocket Expenses for Obstetrics. If you have any queries or wish to discuss further, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
A/Prof Gino Pecoraro, President