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Debate on health funding needed

14 October 2004

Debate on health funding needed

Debating alternative approaches to health funding is positive, says Business NZ.

"If we are heading towards a public health system that we can't afford, as suggested by the Health Funds Association, then we need to look at all options," Business NZ Acting CEO Tim Cleary said.

"Differing views on cost inflation and productivity in the health sector doesn't mean we shouldn't debate the issue.

"The Association has made a reasonable suggestion that we consider the Australian system which allows a 30 per cent rebate on health insurance premiums.

"This would give an incentive for people to take responsibility for their own healthcare, so reducing costs in the public system.

"It would also help alleviate the unfairness of the burden on insurance holders who pay twice for health coverage - in their insurance and also in their taxes.

"In many other areas we are considering harmonising our practices with Australia's - this is an important issue that deserves as much debate as possible."

ENDS

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