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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Departing APHA CEO reflects on 24-year tenure and future of private health sector

Health Industry Hub | July 2, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Michael Roff, CEO of the Australian Private Hospitals Association (APHA), who will be departing the organisation on 5th July, reflected on his tenure of 24 years and discussed the future of the private health sector.

Roff highlighted several key achievements during his time as CEO, sharing his proudest moments and the milestones that defined his leadership journey. When asked about decisions he might have made differently, Roff provided thoughtful insights into the complexities of his role and the evolving healthcare landscape.

Looking ahead, Roff envisioned significant changes in the private health sector over the next 10-15 years, focusing on how the sector can unlock greater value for patients.

“Over my time, there’s been a lot of antagonism between hospitals and health insurers. There have been attempts along the way for a more collaborative and cooperative approach both on an industry level and at an individual insurance or hospital level. But it seems that everybody reverts to falling back to their own corners.

“In terms of unlocking value for consumers, the funding model needs to change to allow for private hospitals to provide more out of hospital community care under the auspices and by the staff of the hospitals, so that there is a continuum of care for private sector patients,” he explained.

“There are salient lessons from the banking Royal Commission. You don’t want to get into the same sort of situation in private health, where a patient is being streamed into a particular care pathway, not because it’s in their best clinical interests, but because it’s in the best financial interest of their insurer,” Roff stressed.

He expressed optimism about the potential impact of the new review of private hospitals announced by Federal Health Minister Mark Butler.

“[The Department of Health] is obviously convinced by the data and they acted very quickly. They are undertaking their own data collection and analysis, and at the same time, looking at possible government policy responses,” he stated.

Roff also emphasised the importance of learning from international best practices, identifying key lessons and policies that could benefit the Australian healthcare system.

As he contemplates his legacy, Roff hopes to leave a lasting positive impact on the healthcare industry.

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